Man arrested after car chase causes child's death

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A 33-year-old man has been arrested on vehicular homicide after authorities say he wrecked a car while fleeing police near Louisville, causing the death of a 2-year-old passenger and injuring another child.

According to a release e-mailed today by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. Friday after an attempted traffic stop resulted in a chase that ended with an overturned vehicle.

The release states that Miller Lee Smith Jr. has also been charged with serious injury by vehicle, hit & run/failure to render aid, reckless driving, obstruction of an officer, DUI/Child Endangerment, DUI, child restraint violation, fleeing & attempting to elude, failure to maintain lane and driving while unlicensed.

Police say it all started when a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy noticed a vehicle being driven erratically by Mr. Smith. The deputy attempted a traffic stop in a residential area outside of Louisville, and as he approached the vehicle Mr. Smith reportedly sped away in the vehicle.

A chase ensued, but the deputy lost sight of the vehicle. Ultimately, police say they found the vehicle overturned in some woods about five miles outside of Louisville on Middleground Road. An adult male passenger was beside the vehicle and told authorities Mr. Smith had run from the scene, but that two children also had been in the vehicle. Deputies searched and found a 2-year-old female on the ground beside the overturned vehicle and a 3-year-old male on the ground about 40 feet from the vehicle. Deputies administered first aid until EMS workers arrived, but the 2-year-old, identified as Alike Smith, was pronounced dead at the scene, the release states.

The 3-year-old was air lifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he was in stable condition with some broken bones and possibly a concussion.

Mr. Smith was apprehended after a brief struggle in a wooded area less than a mile away from the accident scene at about 11:30 p.m. friday.

He and the adult passenger were treated at Jefferson Hospital in Louisville. The passenger was released and not charged.

Mr. Smith is being held in the Jefferson County Jail awaiting a bond hearing. He also is being held for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office on an outstanding warrant. Richmond County investigators said today that Mr. Smith faced a bench warrant, but they weren't sure exactly what on.

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