A crew member escaped from a moving ambulance after someone stole it from a truck stop in Lauderdale County early Sunday morning, according to the sheriff's department.
Jail records show Zachary Lamon Hopson of Meridian is charged with motor vehicle theft, felony fleeing, driving under the influence and other violations.
Three ambulance crew members traveling back to Jackson stopped at the Lost Gap exit off I-20 around 1:15 a.m., according to Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.
One was in the back of the ambulance when the two others went inside the truck stop, leaving the ambulance running, Calhoun said.
“Hopson decides he needs to take an ambulance, so he jumps in the ambulance and takes off,” Calhoun said. “The individual in the back, he just thinks they’re leaving and going to Jackson.”
After the two other people discovered the ambulance had been stolen, they called their fellow crew member, who decided to jump out of the back of the ambulance as it was getting on the on-ramp to the interstate, Calhoun said.
The Meridian Police Department and Lauderdale County deputies chased the ambulance, which was traveling 80 miles per hour at one point, according to the sheriff's department.
The ambulance finally stopped eastbound on I-20, just past the Highway 19 South exit near Sam's Club, and deputies ran after Hopson and arrested him behind the store, Calhoun said.
“The takeaway from this is that all of us should remember that we should never leave our vehicles unattended and running.”