National News

Chase through two counties reaches speeds up to 130 mph

Posted July 6

— A high speed chase that reached speeds up to 130 mph started on Interstate 20 in Newton County on July 3 and ended at an intersection in Morgan County. The driver now faces multiple traffic charges.

According to a report from the Georgia State Patrol, the incident began about 7:55 p.m. when a trooper running radar on I-20 east at mile marker 98 (near the Ga. Highway 11 exit) allegedly clocked a 2017 Ford Mustang traveling at 115 mph in a 70 mph zone. The trooper turned on his emergency equipment and gave chase.

It took the trooper a couple of miles to catch up, and as he did, he allegedly saw the driver go from the left lane to the south shoulder to pass a tractor-trailer. The trooper radioed that he believed the driver had seen him and was attempting to evade him.

The trooper reported the chase reached a speed of 130 mph. Approaching a rest area, the driver cut into the right lane, cutting off another tractor-trailer. The trooper was unable to follow and continued past the rest area, his view blocked by the truck.

The trooper turned around and went back to the rest area, where some bystanders told him the Mustang had never actually entered the area, but drove past it.

A second trooper was stationed at mile marker 106 and radioed that the Mustang had not passed him.

While they were looking, the Morgan County Sheriff's Office radioed and said a 911 caller had told them a Mustang fitting the description had passed them at a high rate of speed and exited at Newborn Road (exit 105) and turned right. A deputy responded and made a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle at the intersection of Newborn Road and Davis Academy Road.

The trooper arrived at the traffic stop and reported recognizing the Mustang as the one he had been chasing. He also reported allegedly smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The driver was identified as Darrian Ray Ford, 28, of Johns Island, SC. The passenger was identified as Jerai Lana Green, 26, also of Johns Island.

When asked where they were coming front, Ford stated they were coming from Atlanta. When asked why they exited at Newborn Road, Ford allegedly said they stopped at a gas station to get some drinks. But Ford could not provide any details of where they stopped and the trooper noted in his report that there is not a gas station on Newborn Road south of I-20 and north of where they were stopped.

Green allegedly became confrontational during the questioning, and troopers separated the two. Ford allegedly admitted to being the driver they were chasing, and alleged stated that he was afraid to stop because he is a truck driver with a CDL license and was in possession of marijuana.

A search of the vehicle allegedly found a burned marijuana cigarette on the passenger side floorboard, and a loaded handgun.

Ford and Green were transported to the Newton County Jail. Ford has been charged with possession of marijuana less than an ounce, speeding in excess of maximum limits, DUI/drugs, fleeing or attempting to elude police, passing on the shoulder of a roadway, failure to maintain lane, following too closely, and driving in the emergency lane. Green was charged with obstruction of officers and possession of marijuana less than an ounce.

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