Chase Lane: ‘It’s all about helping’

Tom KingLoudon, Our Town Heroes

The call came around 4 p.m. on November 25, 2022. Sounded routine. No big deal. “DAV” – disabled vehicle in police lingo – on I-75 North in Loudon County “at the 69.” Mile marker 69. A young woman headed home after work managed to safely guide her car to a stop after her left front tire blew out. Nice driving.

And at Interstate speeds, that’s often not what happens when a tire blows out.

That 4 p.m. call was answered by Loudon County Sherriff’s Office (LCSO) Deputy Chase Lane. When he pulled behind the car, blue lights flashing, the driver, Sydney Brewton, was standing next to her car. She needed help. Lane, 25 and in his third year at the LCSO, was what the doctor ordered. He even tried to find a tow truck and was going to pay for it, but the tow trucks were all busy.

Chase Lane

Here’s the story that Brewton posted on her Facebook page:

“My life recently has been hectic to say the least, but I want to take a moment to thank Deputy C. Lane Badge 930 of the Loudon County Sheriff’s (Office) for going above and beyond for helping me yesterday. Unfortunately, on my way home from work, my tire blew and I had no spare. Deputy Lane not only came to assist me, but sat with me for at least an hour while we tried to get a tow truck. Luckily, my best friend Ashley Christopherson saved the day and I was able to get a new tire. After arriving back to my car with a new tire, Deputy Lane CAME BACK and put the tire on in the dark. Loudon County should be honored to have him.”

Changing a tire anytime isn’t fun, or even easy, but in the dark, only a few feet away from cars and trucks flying by on I-75, takes risky to another level. “And the lug nuts on this car for some danged reason were really hard to get back on,” he said. “Pretty frustrating, but it got done. And 75 was crazy busy with traffic, the day after Thanksgiving and all.”

His story isn’t just about changing a flat tire – it’s about service and being there when someone needs you. “It’s all about helping, helping whoever and whenever and for whatever they need us for,” he says.

Lane is Loudon County through and through, a 2015 graduate of Loudon County High School who never wants to live anywhere else. “Law enforcement was always something I thought about growing up. I had some influential people who kind of helped me make a decision,” he explained. “I love my city, my county and community. And I kept thinking ‘What better job could I have than to protect all these things.’ I wanted to give back to the community that has given me everything. I love my workplace. It’s a big family.”

He and wife Trish, a pharmacist, have four dogs – a pair of Labs and a pair of Blue Heelers. “I’ve been hunting all my life and the two Labs are my bird dogs. The Heelers are our lap dogs. I hunt mostly birds, duck, deer and turkeys,” he said. “My life pretty much revolves around Trish, my job and the hunting.”

His patrol area is the south end of Loudon County – Philadelphia, Tellico Village, Blue Springs and a sliver of Sweetwater. He calls it “God’s country.”

Lane and his fellow LCSO deputies work so many different kinds of calls – fatal accidents, shootings, murders, suicides, domestic violence, and the list goes on. Helping with a flat tire, you may say, pales in comparison. Maybe. But maybe not. On a dark Interstate at night standing next to the traffic is not exactly a safe place to find yourself. That counts as being in harm’s way. Beyond the tire change, Lane kept Brewton safe.

Lane said helping people change tires is something every deputy does multiple times – on I-75 and on country roads too. “Those calls, just like this one, are important and being able to help is one of the reasons I love this job. The person-to-person interaction is a great part of what we do. I had the time to help her and she needed my help.”

LCSO Chief Deputy Zac Frye said just recently Lane bought six $50 gift cards to give to drivers he has stopped. “He invested his own money into this and that’s who he is,” Frye said. “He cares.”

Lane said he uses the cards when he makes a stop for speeding or for other violations. “I talk to them about why it’s so dangerous doing what they’re doing. I give them a ticket and a gift card to let them know we are human and we care,” he said. “People aren’t perfect. But if I can change their driving habits and slow them down then maybe I don’t have to knock on someone’s door and tell them their child is dead and never coming home again.”

Tom King has been the editor of newspapers in Texas and California and also worked for newspapers in Tennessee and Georgia.

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