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Driver in deadly Burke County drag race surrenders

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011 6:25 PM
Last updated 8:48 PM
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Two men face first-degree homicide by vehicle and other charges in connection with a drag race Sunday that killed two people in Burke County, Ga.



Torrance Lamar Crumbley, 33, of Waynesboro, turned himself in at the Burke County jail at 5:35 p.m. Tuesday. Michael Mathis, 38, also from Waynesboro, is expected to turn himself in Wednesday, Burke County Sheriff Greg Coursey said.

Both men are accused of killing Kevin Johnson, 27, of Sardis, Ga., and Keshon Burdette, 15, of Waynesboro.

Johnson and Burdette were recording the race on Seven Oaks Road about 6 p.m. Sunday when they were hit by an out-of-control car.

Both Crumbley and Mathis left the scene immediately, but Mathis was tracked down shortly after by the Georgia State Patrol because he had suffered injuries in the wreck. His car flipped several times and was totaled.

Mathis was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital where law enforcement has monitored him. The reason he was not immediately arrested was to avoid the county having to pay medical bills. If he had been arrested before or during treatment, the county would have been considered his caretaker and would have had to pay his medical expenses. This way, Mathis will be responsible for them, according to Trooper 1st Class Samuel Price of the state patrol.

Coursey said Mathis was treated by a doctor Tuesday, which is why he had not surrendered yet.

Price said Crumbley had been identified by witnesses almost immediately at the scene, so officers had been to his house several times. Law enforcement had received several calls saying he was involved.

“The public was outraged about them killing people and then leaving,” Price said. “I think that’s what got so many people to come forward.”

Crumbley was on the way to his lawyer’s office Tuesday when he called Price. After consulting with his lawyer, Crumbley decided to turn himself in, Price said.

Crumbley and Mathis will be held at the jail on the initial warrant charge for vehicular homicide, Price said. If convicted, that charge could mean three to 15 years in jail.

Price said he will charge the two men Wednesday with reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury and drag racing.

Price and other state patrol officers will also inspect both cars and issue charges for any illegalities on their vehicles such as nitrous oxide or slick tires.

The state patrol is not releasing some details, such as whether one or both cars hit the victims. But Price said it does not matter because they were both involved.

“They were participating in a speed contest between vehicles on the highway,” he said. “They are both responsible.”

Price also said there will be other arrests made relating to this case, but did not go into detail about who or what the charges will be.

Comments (9) Add comment
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rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 11/29/11 - 06:46 pm
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It would be different if this

It would be different if this had been an unavoidable accident, but this calls for punishment that lasts a lifetime.

nothin2show4it
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nothin2show4it 11/29/11 - 06:49 pm
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"...this call for punishment
Unpublished

"...this call for punishment that lasts a lifetime." The only way to possibly end the drag racing in Burke Co.

scgator
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scgator 11/29/11 - 08:44 pm
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For what it is

For what it is worth.........nitrous oxide (sometimes called "Juice") is not practical for the street; but it is also NOT illegal to be installed on your car. Racing slicks, however, are not DOT approved for street use.

Price and other state patrol officers will also inspect both cars and issue charges for any illegalities on their vehicles such as nitrous oxide or slick tires.

"...this call for punishment that lasts a lifetime." The only way to possibly end the drag racing in Burke Co.

While I agree, the punishment needs to be severe; we need to remember that the two individuals who lost their lives, put their own lives at risk by an act of their own free will. As tragic as it is, they must share some of the blame. I am not unsympathetic, just practical. My dad taught us growing up............if you don't want to get in trouble or get hurt;........DON'T PUT YOURSELF IN THOSE SITUATIONS.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 11/29/11 - 09:18 pm
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Whoa there gator! You can't

Whoa there gator! You can't say anything but condolences on these news items; else someone's sensibilities are offended :rolleyes:

Designated Hitter
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Designated Hitter 11/29/11 - 09:37 pm
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The worst part of it all is

The worst part of it all is that everyone involved know each other. This is terrible for the families of the victims and the drivers. Although street racing is illiegal, it is commonplace in more than just Burke County. It will be a long time before the healing actually begins in this situation.

horsesense
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horsesense 11/30/11 - 04:46 am
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The ones racing on Bruke

The ones racing on Bruke county roads, need to stop and think. Jackson's not that far away, and it is much safer there. So you have to pay $10.00 for a man or $5.00 if your a female. Isn't peoples life worth more than that.

gmt
79
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gmt 11/30/11 - 09:34 am
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Actually it is illegal to

Actually it is illegal to have Nitrous oxide hooked up while on the street.

§ 40-8-10. Operation of motor vehicles with nitrous oxide; penalty for violation.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person on a public road to drive a passenger car, excluding a motor home, which supplies the motor vehicle's combustion engine with nitrous oxide unless the system supplying nitrous oxide is made inoperative by disconnecting the line feeding nitrous oxide to the engine or by removing the container or containers of nitrous oxide from the vehicle.

(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

drivenslow
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drivenslow 11/30/11 - 10:02 am
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first off these races have
Unpublished

first off these races have been going on out here for a looong time...lots of money is bet at these races..and the two were taping the race it seems no matter what all parties were involved in illegal activity so none are truly innocent

gaj265
201
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gaj265 11/30/11 - 01:58 pm
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This was a senseless, stupid

This was a senseless, stupid incident that should never have happened. Carolina Dragway is 30 minutes from Waynesboro and they race on Sundays. They could have spent $20 to race there and two people would still be alive. Also, my family lives in Burke County and we do not appreciate them endangering the lives of innocent people on the road.

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 11/30/11 - 02:28 pm
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It should not have happened

It should not have happened but Burke County is certainly not by themselves when it comes to this, it happens on roads all over the country. Unfortunately a tragedy came out of this one. And you are right scgator, all of them were involved, even the victims but still it is really sad that two young men lost their lives and hopefully some good will come out of it and maybe this will not happen again. I do fault the drivers for running off and leaving someone that they knew to die on the road though.

scgator
1042
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scgator 11/30/11 - 07:42 pm
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gmt.........again, it is not

gmt.........again, it is not illegal to have a juice system on your street car. It is illegal to "enable" it while the vehicle is being street driven. Many hottrodders have these systems on their street cars and utilize them only when at the drag strip.

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