New details emerge in police chase, fatal crash in Tuscaloosa

Ronald "Peanut" Hoover, left, and James Thomas Champion, right.

New details have emerged in the investigation into Tuesday night's police chase that ended with a fatal crash that killed a Tuscaloosa man and injured a police officer.

James Thomas Champion, 30, was attempting to flee officers on McFarland Boulevard (Highway 82) when a Tuscaloosa police cruiser, traveling in the opposite direction, crossed the median, striking the suspect's vehicle head on. A passenger in the suspect's vehicle, 29-year-old Ronald Gilbert "Peanut" Hoover, was ejected and pronounced deceased at the scene.

Two other occupants in Champion's SUV and a Tuscaloosa police officer were injured in the crash and transported to DCH for treatment.

Champion was arrested and charged with felony eluding, leaving the scene of an accident and a probation violation. He is being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail without bond.

Sources tell ABC 33/40 that a report of the suspects being involved in a burglary prompted police to initiate the chase, but it was later learned that the report was false.

Alabama State Troopers are investigating the accident.

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