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Authorities: Driver in chase runs from car after striking tree
Neil Richards.

A Flowery Branch man tried to elude a state trooper and then ran from his car after crashing near a Gainesville therapy clinic Sunday, according to authorities.

Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Josh Hedden said a trooper tried to stop a Ford Expedition around 3 p.m. Jan. 5 on Ga. 365 after the trooper’s tag readers found the vehicle had no valid insurance.

The Ford Expedition turned on Ramsey Road and continued through the Gainesville city streets of White Sulphur and Beverly roads until reaching Enota Drive.

Hedden said the chase at one point reached 80 mph, as the driver, Neil Richards, 41, allegedly ran several red lights.

“As the vehicle traveled on Enota Drive the vehicle made a hard right turn into Benchmark Therapy striking the curb and then a tree with the left side of the vehicle,” Hedden wrote in an email.

Richards ran from the scene, but he was apprehended shortly thereafter, Hedden said.

Richards’ three passengers stayed in the car and were detained by authorities, though two of them left with no charges.

Krystal Angelica Martin, 31, of Lula, was arrested on an active warrant from Braselton Police.

No one was seriously injured, and there was no damage to Benchmark Therapy, Hedden said.

Richards was charged with DUI, reckless driving, speeding, failure to maintain lane, improper passing, fleeing and eluding, obstruction, failure to obey a traffic control device and other charges.

He was booked into the Hall County Jail, where he remains.

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