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Driver crashes into parked patrol car during multi-county chase
Begins in Treutlen Co., ends in Metter
high speed chase

A high-speed chase from Treutlen County ended in Metter when a Sylvania man crashed into a parked Metter police car.

After the crash, the driver, Cornelius Roberts, 27, was charged with felony marijuana possession, fleeing/attempt to elude and other traffic charges, said Metter police Chief Rob Shore.

The chase began after a Treutlen County sheriff's deputy stopped a silver Ford Fusion on Interstate 16 Friday evening for traffic offenses, he said.

The driver of the vehicle at the time, whom Shore did not identify, fled on foot from the traffic stop in Treutlen County while a passenger, Roberts, took over the wheel and drove off. Roberts fled into Candler County around 6:10 p.m., when Metter police and Candler County sheriff's deputies joined Treutlen County deputies and Post 19 Georgia state troopers in the chase, Shore said.

Before arriving in Candler County, troopers tried stopping Roberts. 

"During the chase, the Georgia State Patrol attempted to deploy spike strips, and during the attempted deployment … a trooper broke his leg," Shore said. 

The injured trooper, Trooper 1st Class Clint Brantley of GSP Post 19, continued in the chase.

As Roberts approached the 104 Exit, Metter police officers "set up on the off ramp in attempt to deploy spike strips," Shore said. 

When the Fusion entered the off ramp, Metter police Cpl. Ray Smith deployed a set of spike strips onto the off ramp, he said. 

"The vehicle swerved to avoid the spike strips, causing the vehicle to lose control. 

"The vehicle continued out of control until striking the crossover arm and then running into (Metter police) Cpl. Ricky Lovett's parked patrol vehicle, striking it head on."

Lovett was not in the car when the crash occurred, and was uninjured.

However, the impact of the crash sent Lovett's patrol car completely off the ramp, "across Hwy. 121, and down an embankment, finally resting inside the fenced area near Metter Ford," Shore said.

When the Fusion came to rest after impact, "Roberts jumped out the window … and fled on foot," he said.  

Treutlen County deputies and state troopers pursued him and apprehended him a short distance away.

During a search, about a pound of marijuana was found in the Fusion, Shore said. 

"It was also discovered that Roberts was on probation/parole,"   he said.

Roberts was taken to the Candler County Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries before being released to Treutlen County deputies. Brantley was treated at Meadows Hospital and released.

Shore praised his department for their actions in assisting with the chase.

"The Metter Police Department has training to minimize the risks associated with high-speed chases," he said. "This was the first time that spike strips were used since their approval by city council."  

Each Metter police car is equipped with spike strips, he said.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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