CATOOSA COUNTY, Ga. (WDEF) — A high speed police chase and deadly wreck closed both sides of Interstate 75 in Catoosa County late Thursday night. Two people were pronounced dead at the scene.
“There’s only been one that’s been this graphic, let’s put it that way,” said Mack Hill, owner of Mack’s Towing and Recovery.
According to Ringgold Police, a middle-aged white man stole a 2005 Ford Mustang while its owner was inside the Circle K gas station on Battlefield Parkway.
“Parked it in the same place I always park it, right there where the security cameras can see it,” said Derrick Walls, owner of the Mustang. “I thought I had my keys, and I didn’t have my keys. Next thing I knew when we got our drinks and I left the counter, I look out, going to get some gas in the car, and it was gone.”
Walls immediately called law enforcement. An eye witness saw the suspect take the car up Smitherman Road near the gas station. One officer pursued up the residential road. The other waited for the suspect to turn around, knowing Smitherman Road was a dead end.
According to the report, both a Ringgold Police officer and a Catoosa County Sheriff’s deputy tried pulling the Mustang over. That’s when the suspect led the officers onto I-75 North.
Responding law enforcement said the Mustang was traveling at an “extremely high rate of speed” and driving recklessly. The Mustang was said to be going 100 miles per hour when it hit into the back right end of a 2007 Dodge Ram pickup.
The impact caused the pickup to fly over the left side guardrail, go through the median, and flip multiple times before coming to a rest on its side in the southbound lanes.
Both drivers died on scene.
“There was a lot of blood, more than I’ve ever seen,” wrecker driver Danny Nix said. “There was about a mile of debris to pick up. Just a very bad situation.”
“I mean, I was like, ‘It was my fault.’ And it still bothers me,” Walls said. “I did tell the detectives if you can let the family know if like to speak with them. At least apologize to them because I didn’t anybody to be harmed.”
The driver of the pickup was an older man from out of our area. The identities of the deceased have not yet been released.
Georgia State Patrol is still investigating the accident.