VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - On Thursday May 29, WTVM received shocking video of a Valley police chase that ended in a horrific crash.
Law enforcement leaders say it's a blessing nobody was killed or hurt as the suspect led them on a 20 minute high speed chase, all while smiling and waving out the window.
News Leader 9's Elizabeth White has the story.
"It all happened so fast, last thing I remember he was heading straight for us and I was like oh my gosh," said 16-year-old Jared Hinkle, who was filming in the passenger seat of the police car.
This startling video shows the violent, head-on collision that abruptly ends a high speed police chase Wednesday night.
Jared's dad is a deputy with Chambers County, and the teen plans to follow in his father's footsteps.
Jared is in The Boy Scout Explorer program, where youths 14 to 21 do ride along with law enforcement to learn about the job.
"Dispatch notified us Valley police was in pursuit of a white PT cruiser that was on Highway 29," Jared explained.
Police say 23-year-old Kori Stanford violated a protection from abuse order when he visited his ex-girlfriend at her job. When Valley PD tried to make a traffic stop, Stanford kept going.
"The chase lasted a good 15 to 20 minutes and he accelerated to about 80 miles an hour on Highway 29," said Chief Tommy Weldon with the Valley Police Department.
Police say Stanford hit several vehicles, drove through yards, ran stop signs and red lights... all while smiling and waving.
"During the chase the suspect was waving at individuals on the roadway and dancing in the car, not sure the mental state there was," said Major Mike Parrish with the Chambers County Sheriff's Office.
Finally, police cornered him in the West Point Housing Project, but Stanford kept driving. In an instant, Jared found himself face to face with a suspect on the run.
"As the vehicle was coming towards us I was terrified as to what was about to happen, but my adrenaline was pumping and everyone was okay, and I got out an' called my dad and everyone was just fine," Jared said.
Police say Stanford resisted arrest after the crash and had to be tazed to be handcuffed.
"It was a hard impact," Jared said.
As for Jared, he's just fine and his shocking cell phone video will be used as evidence in Stanford's criminal trial. It's another part of the job Jared is excited to learn about.
"You never know what the next call will be or what you will experience, it's always going to be a surprise, but this is what I want to do, this is what I have a passion to do, to protect folks in this community and help out," Jared said.
Stanford faces numerous charges, including attempting to elude, reckless endangerment and other traffic violations.
He also has outstanding warrants for domestic violence in Lanett and felony aggravated assault in West Point.
Meanwhile, Jared says the deputy he was riding with is his best friend and says before he got out of the car to help with the arrest he made sure the teen was okay.
Jared says the experience only strengthens his desire to protect and serve others.