VALDOSTA — Authorities are searching for a woman who fled a car crash after leading lawmen on a high-speed chase through Valdosta Wednesday, according to the county sheriff.

A Lowndes County Sheriff's Office deputy spotted a car heading on U.S. 41 north into Valdosta at a high rate of speed, Sheriff Ashley Paulk said.

Around half a dozen sheriff's cars responded at approximately 3 p.m. They were supported by Valdosta Police Department units, though the city police were not involved in the case, Police Lt. Adam Bembry said.

"She was going in excess of 100 miles per hour," the sheriff said, "and almost hit a school bus."

The car hit a tree at the intersection of James D. Wright Drive and Brookwood Drive, he said.

The driver jumped out and fled. Lawmen were carrying out a search on foot at 4 p.m., and a sheriff's office K9 unit was on the scene.

The sheriff said while the driver's name is unknown, a check on the car's license plate number gave authorities the name of the car's owner. However, he said it's not known if the owner and the driver are the same person.

Paulk said an alert for the woman would be issued, and described her as a black female wearing a black shirt.

The reason she was speeding is not known, he said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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