Tri-City Ledger -

By Joe Thomas and Josh Dewberry
Special to the Ledger 

Beatrice man jumps to death

Crosby leads officers on chase in stolen truck; rams Escambia deputy; dies in bridge fall


August 2, 2018


A chase that started near Peterman and spanned four counties Tuesday night ended when the suspect exited his truck and jumped from a bridge in Mobile County, falling approximately 100 feet to his death.

Monroe County Sheriff Tom Tate said the incident started shortly after 8 p.m. when deputies were called to Scotch Plywood in Beatrice where a Mack truck had been stolen from their sawmill yard. Tate said one deputy went to the mill and a second deputy patrolled Alabama Highway 21 South on the lookout for the truck.

"The deputy on patrol encountered a truck matching the description of the one reported stolen in the Peterman area, and the other deputy left the sawmill to assist in trying to stop the truck and apprehend the driver," Tate said. "The driver traveled south on 21, turned onto the Hwy. 21 Bypass and then continued on Hwy. 21 through Monroeville, Frisco City and Uriah with deputies pursuing with lights and sirens."

Escambia County Sheriff's deputies and Alabama State Troopers were notified and they set up a blockade at Huxford where tire spikes were deployed.

"The driver came through the blockade and hit the spikes, deflating one front tire, then continued to drive," Tate said.

Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said a deputy got in front of the vehicle in an attempt to slow it down and to warn oncoming traffic, but the truck rear ended the patrol car and kept going, eventually turning southbound in Interstate 65.

After crossing into Baldwin County, the suspect reportedly fired gunshots at Escambia and Baldwin county deputies, Tate said.

"As the truck approached the south end of the General W.K. Wilson Jr. Bridge, also called the Dolly Parton Bridge, around 10:30 it slowed down and the driver baled out," Tate said. "He jumped over the railing in what is thought to be an attempt to escape law enforcement."

Tate said the man fell onto solid ground below.

"Baldwin County authorities are investigating the reports of shots being fired and the Mobile County Sheriff's Office and Medical Examiner's Office are investigating the nature of the man's death," Tate said. "The driver was identified by two deputies who knew him as 27-year-old Rico Crosby of Beatrice, and his family was notified this morning."

Smith estimated the fall to be approximately 100 feet.

Tate said there were no reported injuries to law enforcement or civilians and it is unclear what sparked Crosby's actions.

Three Monroe County deputies were part of the pursuit to its end, Tate said, and the chase was "not exceptionally high speed" because the stolen truck was a heavy duty Mack truck without a trailer.

Smith noted that during at least some portions of the chase the truck was traveling without lights and hit speeds of 85 mph.

The chase garnered attention across social media, with videos appearing on Facebook and Snapchat, including several live videos from drivers in traffic near the end point. Televisions stations from Mobile aired at least one of the videos during their late-night broadcasts.


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