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Passenger dies after driver flees from police

December 04, 2020 - 00:00
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A 29-year-old Madison man who was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a police chase lost his life in a crash Nov. 27.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, Octavious Dion Clark of 1601 Bostwick Road was ejected from the vehicle when it lost control and left the roadway on Dixie Highway near the intersection with Harold Hollis Road. Clark was not wearing a seatbelt.

According to Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn, an officer attempted CPR on Clark until the EMS units arrived but Clark was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, Christopher Smith, 28, of Madison, who was wearing a seatbelt, was taken to an Athens hospital and later arrested on numerous charges.

Ashburn said the police officer had stationed himself in the area of Dixie Highway on the lookout for a reported reckless driver and witnessed a vehicle accelerating so rapidly that it spun sideways. The officer pursued and Smith ran more than one stop sign as he fled.

Smith was unable to navigate a curve in the road as he travelled west on Dixie Highway and drove off the shoulder to the north, striking several trees and overturning several times.

The Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) is investigating the incident.