HOGANSVILLE —Three people were in custody in the Coweta County Jail Tuesday morning following a high-speed chase south on Interstate 85 that ended in multiple car crashes in a tiny neighborhood on Lincoln Street.
The three, whose names had not been released Tuesday morning, were traveling in a blue Volkswagen Jetta SE with Louisiana plates.
Hogansville Police Chief Brian Harr told the Daily News his department received a call about 3 p.m. from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office that deputies, along with officers from the Grantville Police Department, were chasing the sedan in the southbound lanes of I-85.
The Jetta got off at the Hogansville exit, sped down Main Street and turned right on Lincoln Street, driving past the Hogansville Police Department, Harr said.
“He came flying down the road, probably running about 100 miles per hour,” exclaimed one unidentified driver who said she was caught in the chase on Lincoln Street. ” … Riding down the middle of the road … I just pulled over … then there were cops behind him … cops coming from everywhere … I’ve never seen a high-speed chase before.”
The chase continued down Lincoln Street where, at some point at the bottom of a hill, two Grantville patrol cars collided with a Toyota pickup truck, a city of Hogansville truck and at least one other car, Harr said.
It was unclear as of press time how many people were hurt in that crash. Some were taken to the hospital for treatment, Harr said. Their conditions were unavailable as of press time.
The Jetta continued to speed down Lincoln Street and around a curve, where the driver attempted to turn left onto Askew Avenue, Harr said. Instead, the sedan slammed into the side of a Ford F-150 truck.
“I was stopped at the stop sign, looked once … looked again and he was 20, 30 feet away from us and he wasn’t stopping,” said the F-150’s driver, who asked not to be identified, fearing potential reprisal from the suspects.
He saw the driver in the speeding Jetta heading straight for him and then crash into his truck.
The Jetta’s driver made it clear he did not intend to stick around the accident scene, the F-150 driver said.
“He got out and started running. He ran to the stairs over at that house,” he said as he pointed to a home at the intersection of Lincoln and Askew. “That’s when I grabbed him and wrestled him back to the street. He said, ‘What are you doing? I’m hurt.’”
The F-150 driver snapped a cell phone picture of the suspect just before he said he stopped him from getting away.
The suspect had a leg injury, so the F-150 driver said he eased his grip on the man, who immediately fled.
“He tried to get himself up into my truck and steal it to get away,” the F-150 driver claimed. “Finally, someone else got here and we both took him to the ground.”
They held the suspect until law enforcement officials could handcuff the man and take his two passengers, both females, into custody as well.
The F-150 driver said he was never worried for his safety, only making sure the suspect did not get away. He added the man tried to bargain for his release.
“He said, ‘Why are you doing this? Why are we fighting? I’ll pay you, I’ve got money.’”
The F-150 driver said he did not budge, but he later learned his truck was totaled in the wreck. The Jetta hit the F-150 hard enough to deploy the front and side airbags.
The incident is the third chase to end in a wreck in Hogansville since Wednesday.