Valdosta Daily Times

June 21, 2013

Chase ends in wreck

Three injured in accident capping high-speed pursuit

Kay Harris
The Valdosta Daily Times

LOWNDES COUNTY — A high-speed pursuit ended with a crash Thursday afternoon as law enforcement officials were attempting to apprehend a vehicle in Lowndes County.

At press time, it was not known what caused the male driver of a vehicle to begin traveling on I-75 at excessive speeds, but according to Sheriff Chris Prine at the scene Thursday, the car was clocked at 115 miles per hour.

Officers from the Georgia State Patrol and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office began pursuing the vehicle around Exit 13 on I-75, heading northbound, shortly after 4:30 p.m. The vehicle exited off the interstate onto North Valdosta Road at Exit 22, headed towards the city.

Prine said the vehicle was still traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour for a couple of miles before doing a U-turn on North Valdosta Road in front of Pipkin’s Motors. The vehicle then turned north on Old U.S. Highway 41 towards Hahira.

“Not long after he turned on Highway 41, he was apparently attempting to get around traffic and ended up hitting a red pickup truck,” said Prine. “He went across the highway and flipped. You can see where they struck (that) tree. It’s way off the ground.”

The two occupants of the truck were not hurt, Prine said. Two of the speeding vehicle’s three occupants were reportedly thrown clear in the accident and both were transported to South Georgia Medical Center. The extent of their injuries is unknown but were not considered life threatening.

The third occupant, believed to be the driver, tried to run from the scene but was quickly captured by law enforcement, said Prine. A witness said there were at least nine cars

following the vehicle from various law enforcement agencies that swarmed the overturned car immediately.

Prine said that the driver had some lacerations and was being taken to SGMC for evaluation before being transported to the jail.

The three occupants of the vehicle were black males in their early 20s. Their names were not known at press time. The vehicle was towed to the evidence yard at the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

“There will be charges filed but we aren’t sure yet what the extent of those charges will be,” said Prine. “We are still actively investigating the scene.”

The car was too badly damaged at the scene to tell the make and model and Prine said he was unsure if the vehicle was local or from out of state.

The Georgia State Patrol is conducting the investigation, he said, and both agencies will have further details today.