UPDATE 1:25 p.m. Sunday, July 14

The Georgia State Patrol released the name of the teen killed Friday night during a high-speed chase with law-enforcement officers.

Cativan Napier, 18, of Valdosta died in the incident, according to the GSP report issued Sunday.

Napier was identified as the driver; earlier reports by other agencies claimed the driver killed was 19.

"The driver was not restrained and was ejected during the course of the crash and was found to be deceased as a result," according to the GSP statement.  

Two passengers in the silver 2008 Volkswagen Jetta were injured and transported to hospitals; the GSP provided no additional information on their conditions.

The GSP investigation into the incident continues. 


VALDOSTA — A 19-year-old man died Friday night after a high-speed chase ended in a wreck on Knights Academy Road.

Lowndes County Coroner Austin Fiveash said the victim died of blunt force trauma from the accident. 

Fiveash said the victim was originally from Florida but currently lived in Valdosta. The coroner personally notified the family of the victim's death.

Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk said deputies tried stopping a vehicle for an unspecified traffic violation at about 11:30 p.m. Friday on Bemiss Road when the car sped off.

While pursuing the car, deputies noticed a bag thrown out of the vehicle, Paulk said. The bag was never recovered.

The chase continued onto Knights Academy Road, but deputies pulled back from following the fleeing vehicle because it was heading into a blockade, he said.

Paulk said deputies laid out "stop sticks" ahead of the vehicle that would have popped the car's tires, ending the chase.

However, before the vehicle could reach the barricade, the driver lost control and went off the road due to wet conditions Friday night, the sheriff said.

The vehicle hit a driveway culvert and went flying into the air about 200 feet, Paulk said. When it landed, the vehicle rolled multiple times, ejecting the driver outside the vehicle.

Paulk said the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and two passengers, a man and a woman, were life-flighted from the scene to a hospital.

Georgia State Patrol is investigating the incident.

The sheriff said he did not know the identity of any of the suspects and didn't know the condition of the two passengers.

This story was updated at 1:15 p.m. Saturday, July 13.

Thomas Lynn is a government and education reporter for The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be reached at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256

React to this story: