Three people are dead after a high-speed, multi-county chase in northeast Georgia late Wednesday evening, but investigators are still trying to figure out why the driver decided to flee.
“The safest thing for anyone to do if they’re being pulled over is to stop. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth risking not only your life, but innocent people’s lives on the highway,” said Lt. Carissa McFaddin, Banks County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. McFaddin said the driver was driving erratically on Interstate 85 which is why they wanted the driver to stop, but they said the driver never slowed. Instead, the Chrysler sedan continued south.
“As they caught up with the vehicle, the vehicle began driving very reckless,” said Lt. McFaddin.
Deputies said the driver sped up, and then attempted to exit onto State Route 98, which is a ramp with a large curve.
“Instead of taking the curve, they did not slow down and they did exit the expressway off the road and struck a tree head on,” said McFaddin. “The car caught fire and four of the five passengers were trapped in the car. There were two deputies in the patrol car and they did render aid, and were able to put the fire out.”
Photographs capture the aftermath of a chase that lasted less than three minutes. The driver, the front passenger, and the backseat left driver all died on scene. A women and a man were taken to the Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. Thursday afternoon traces of the fatal wreck still liter the scene.
Deputies said they found drugs and alcohol inside the car.
The names of those in the car have not yet been released, but investigators said all the occupants were from South Carolina.