Posted: Sep 26, 2012 3:42 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2012 5:01 PM
A Larue County man charged in a high-speed chase earlier this month that ended in the death of a Hodgenville Police officer pleaded not guilty in the case Wednesday, and the case was waived to a grand jury.
Officer Mark A. Taulbee was allegedly involved in a pursuit with Jason L. Avis, 29, early in the morning of September 16 when he crashed near the 4600 block of Campbellsville Road (KY 210) at around 3:43 a.m.
Officer Taulbee was transported to the Hardin Memorial Hospital, then flown to the University of Louisville Hospital, where he died hours later from the injuries he sustained in the crash.
Kentucky State Police say Officer Taulbee was driving eastbound on KY 210 in pursuit of a silver Nissan Altima allegedly driven by Avis. Taulbee lost control of his cruiser and rotates clockwise, say State Police. His cruiser left the roadway on the eastbound side, struck an earth embankment on the driver's side, went airbone and landed in a ditch facing northwest. Officer Taulbee was ejected from the cruiser even though he was wearing a seatbelt.
Police say Avis, of Hodgenville continued on, but later turned himself in at the Larue County Jail.
Avis is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment and first-degree fleeing or evading police. State Police say other charges against Avis are forthcoming.
Officer Taulbee had been with the Hodgenville Police Department for 13 months. He had also been a deputy with the Butler County Sheriff's Department for 3 years prior to his employment with Hodgenville. He is survived by two children, Audra, who is 20, and Austin, age 17.
Kentucky State Police continue to investigate the crash.