What started as a felony shoplifting call at the Walmart on Shug Jordan Parkway in Auburn ended with a Georgia State trooper spinning out a Pontiac that officers had chased through two states and four counties.
The chase lasted more than an hour and ended on River Road in Columbus when the 2010 Maroon Pontiac G6 was intentionally spun in an attempt to stop a pursuit that lasted more than an hour.
All three occupants of the Pontiac were injured, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The driver, who had felony warrants in Georgia, suffered a broken leg. One passenger had a spinal injury and the other suffered a broken shoulder, according to the Georgia State Patrol LaGrange office.
The three suspects were hospitalized and face multiple charges.
A 25-year-old female is being charged with felony Theft of Property, 3rd degree, reckless endangerment and fleeing / attempting to elude, according to Capt. Lorenza Dorsey of the Auburn Police Department. A 38-year-old female and 17-year-old female juvenile are both being charged with felony Theft of Property 3rd Degree.
Once transported back to Alabama and placed in the Lee County Jail; the 25-year-old driver will be held on a $5,500 bond. The 38-year-old female will be eligible for a $1,500 bond and the juvenile with be held at the Lee County Youth Development Center pending a detention hearing.
The three have not been identified.
The chase went from Auburn into Opelika, where the Pontiac got on I-85 and headed toward the Georgia line. The Alabama Law Enforcement and Auburn police were in pursuit at that time. The car left the interstate at Exit 63 and got on U.S. 280 headed toward Phenix City where the pursuit continued onto U.S. 80 toward Columbus.
The chase reached speeds of up to 90 miles per hour when it crossed the Chattahoochee River.
An Alabama trooper was leading the chase into Georgia and stayed in that position as a Georgia trooper joined the chase. The chase went the wrong way on Veterans Parkway near J.R. Allen.
Columbus resident Christian Ortiz was heading south on Veterans Parkway near Bonefish Grill when he encountered the chase.
“I saw cars getting out of the way in front of me,” Ortiz said.
He then realized what was happening and turned his car, blocking the lane the Pontiac was in on the wrong side of Veterans Parkway.
“They then jumped the curb, got on the sidewalk and kept going,” Ortiz said.
The chase eventually ended up on River Road, going into Harris County.
In Harris County, the Georgia trooper assumed the lead position. It went off River Road and onto Lick Skillet Road. The chase looped back around and ended up back on River Road headed south into Columbus.
On River Road, the Georgia Master Trooper Bernard Talley, using his vehicle, spun the Pontiac, putting it in a ditch near mile marker 5. The chase ended at 6:06 p.m. Eastern time. Talley has more than three decades of law enforcement experience.
The Pontiac hit the shoulder, struck a utility pole and came to a rest in a ditch.