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It must have been a fairly remarkable crash to see. A driver attempting to elude deputies Thursday night was said to flip his car six times at 7th and Broad, in the heart of downtown Augusta.

You’d be hard-pressed to accomplish that at 25 mph, and indeed, he was being pursued after careening some 90 mph on Laney Walker Boulevard.

Have you ever gone that fast even on a deserted interstate?

If this stunning wreck – calling it an “accident” is far too laudatory – had happened in a NASCAR race, footage of it would be all over the television.

The driver is lucky to be alive – and just as lucky that the law likely won’t punish him as much as it should.

We think fleeing motorists who take other people’s lives and possessions into their hands ought to be hammered by the law nearly as spectacularly as they were negligent. We think it ought to bring serious prison time.

We’re told by a criminal justice system friend that there is a relevant statute in Georgia law, and that “it can have teeth depending on (the) circumstances.”

Let’s hope so, but we’ll remain skeptical. Often the loopholes in such laws are big enough to flip your car through six times.

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seenitB4
72509
Points
seenitB4 07/27/13 - 07:18 am
4
0

I agree

Some serious prison time..

rmwhitley
5081
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rmwhitley 07/27/13 - 10:26 am
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The driver

Unpublished

is probably an "athlete" at one of our fine colleges or universities. If that is the case, the driver's charges will be reduced to spitting in public. If the driver is from the university of the naacp, all charges will be dropped and the chasing officer will be charged with harassment and causing an unnecessary "accident".

dichotomy
26592
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dichotomy 07/27/13 - 11:40 am
2
2

The courts, the JUDGES,

The courts, the JUDGES, should treat running from the police like the serious crime that it is. Mostly our judges act as if it is the criminal's right to attempt to flee and anything bad that happens as a result is the cops fault for trying to catch the criminal.

Nobody should ever be allowed to flee from the police. Letting them get away simply encourages more to do the same. They should be chased, caught, and punished as a serious offender. The mere fact that we now have a confused policy of calling off some chases while pursuing others encourages some of these geniuses to give it a try. Maybe we would not have so many runners if our policy was that they will be chased and caught 100% of the time and punished, not only for the original infraction, but also for running and any injuries, deaths, and property damaged during the chase.

Today we send a mixed message and THEY, being the geniuses that they are, often decide to take the bet. WE have made that a viable option for them. When the cops pull you over the only option should be STOP or DIE trying to run.

And for those who say "we can catch them later".....we all know that many of these offenders are driving stolen cars, cars with stolen plates, or "borrowed" cars and that there is no way to catch them later or prove that they were driving the vehicle.

And for those who bemoan the fact that innocent people are sometimes injured or killed as a result of these chases....that is very true. But people are killed in traffic crashes every day. We don't stop driving and we should not stop catching people who run from the law. It sends the wrong signal. It says "Go ahead, take the chance. Put people at risk because we MIGHT call of the chase if you drive crazy enough".

corgimom
19199
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corgimom 07/27/13 - 11:54 am
3
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What is even worse is that if

What is even worse is that if RCSO had Tased or shot that idiot, there are too many people in Augusta who would then find fault with RCSO.

Sweet son
8213
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Sweet son 07/27/13 - 12:49 pm
3
1

@dichotomy

I hope that LE doesn't "take the risk" when my family might be involved. A chase of this magnitude over the running of a stop light is never called for. Who cares if the guy had a bag of dope or was throwing his gun out. It's not worth injury to me or my family.

On the other hand if the pursuing officer has knowledge that the vehicle and it's occupants have been involved in a heinous crime; murder, rape and maybe armed robbery with injury then I suppose all bets should be off. If there is plenty of help in the area the suspect can't outrun a Motorola radio.

You won't agree but I hope LE will always be careful in chase situations because most often they don't end well!

Riverman1
70424
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Riverman1 07/27/13 - 01:44 pm
2
0

High Speed Chases Are Wrong

As far as the thrust of the editorial, I agree. Lock up runners for a long time. But I have written why high speed pursuits, unless there is good reason to believe a violent felony is in progress, are a bad idea until I'm blue in the face.

The facts are most are not committing serious crimes other than the act of running. The guy the other night WAS NOT committing a serious crime. He simply stupidly ran.

Almost half the chases end in accidents where the public, officers and runners are injured. We came very close the other night with the couple at the intersection. They were legally crossing and he clipped the front of their car. Another second and he would have hit them broadside.

There is an organization of relatives of innocent bystanders who have been killed as the result of these chases who will tell you jurisdictions that have implemented no high speed chases do not experience an increase in runners. With the technology we have today, following at a reasonable speed appears to be the wiser solution.

If we KNOW the probability of an officer or bystander being seriously injured is high, should we chase? What possible good did that do the other night? Remember the Gordon Hwy chase where the lady was killed?

The veteran Richmond County officer a few years ago who stopped the guy downtown and took his license to check has my everlasting respect. When the guy took off and the supervisor wasn't sure what to do, the officer said on the radio, "I have his license and tag number. There's no reason to chase him."

They picked him up at his house the next day.

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