The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department has suspended a search for three men who fled the scene of a suspicious accident.
The search prompted a soft lockdown of nearby McAdory middle and high schools, which are now operating as normal.
Deputies believe the three men have left the immediate area, so the search has concluded.
According to Chief Deputy Randy Christian, the wreck happened before 7 a.m. Friday at McAshan Drive and Eastern Valley Road. Deputies were informed that three black males had fled the scene on foot.
The accident was between a pharmaceutical courier van and a delivery truck. Deputies were told that the passengers in the delivery truck had watched the courier van as it was loaded at a pharmaceutical distribution center. The truck followed the van out and attempted to cut it off, but instead hit it head on. Both vehicles were disabled in the wreck.
"It's unbelievable, it's a daring plan," Deputy Sheriff Randy Christian said. "It's rare that we see something like this."
The three suspects fled the scene on foot and the Sheriff's Office says the steering column of the truck was broken, indicating that it may be stolen. The registered owner of the truck was contacted and he told deputies that the truck was contracted to a Homewood delivery service.
The driver of the van suffered significant injuries and was taken to UAB Hospital. His condition is unknown.
Deputies brought tracking dogs to the scene to search for the suspects. A track was discovered about a mile from the scene and a bandana and a pair of gloves were found later. ATV's and the Sheriff's Office helicopter also joined the search.
Claudette Reese lives in the Letson Farms neighborhood near where the search took place and she found out when a relative called her about the school lockdown.
"Let's lock all the doors, let the garage door down. It's a fear," she said. "My grandbabies are sometimes out here playing. Thank God, this wasn't one of the days they were here...but it frightens
McAdory Middle and High Schools were put on 'soft' lockdown as the search is taking place just two miles from them. Classes are continued as normal but no one was allowed outside of school until authorities concluded that the area was safe.
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