Kroger theft case turns into police chase, ends in car accident – WRDW

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A traffic accident shut down traffic on Washington Road at Columbia Road on Wednesday around 3 p.m. – and it’s expected to be closed for hours.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, a man took off in his car after shoplifting at the Kroger on Columbia Road before crashing into a power pole.
Authorities said a deputy spotted the vehicle heading east on Columbia Road and turned on his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop.
But the suspect fled and the deputy pursues, with speeds reaching 60-80 mph, according to authorities .
As the suspect approached the curve just before Washington Road, his vehicle struck a Nissan Sentra, according to deputies.
The suspect’s car continued off the roadway and his vehicle struck a concrete power pole, splitting it in half, according to deputies.
Authorities say the suspect was partially thrown through the windshield, and the vehicle caught fire.
A deputy was able to get the suspect out of the car, and he was taken to Augusta University Medical Center in critical condition.
There were no other serious injuries.
The crash knocked down power lines.
At least part of the intersection will be closed for several hours as the Georgia State Patrol investigates the crash, although a lane was open in each direction by 5:25 p.m.
The Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Power and Columbia County crews responded to the scene.
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