Three people were killed in a fiery crash following a police chase late Wednesday night near Commerce. Two others were injured.
Deputies saw a vehicle being driven erratically, aggressively and too fast around 11:04 p.m., according to Lt. Carissa McFaddin, spokeswoman for the Banks County Sheriff’s Office.
The Georgia State Patrol reported the vehicle was traveling at more than 90 mph south on Interstate 85.
Deputies tried to stop the vehicle, but it sped up and a chase began, McFaddin said.
Authorities don’t know whether alcohol or drugs are a factor.
The driver may have had a warrant out for her arrest due to a shoplifting charge in Lilburn, Amy Eubanks, administrative assistant at the Georgia State Patrol’s Athens post, said.
About three minutes after deputies tried to stop the vehicle, it attempted to leave I-85 at Exit 147 and crashed into a tree.
McFaddin noted the exit is horseshoe-shaped, making it particularly dangerous. Eubanks said the vehicle was going too fast for the curve and left the west shoulder, striking a street sign and the tree.
The vehicle caught fire. A deputy chasing the vehicle put out the fire and worked to help the occupants of the car, McFaddin said.
Driver Rebeccan Toneya Mack, 21, Clifton Gordon, 23, both of Greenville, S.C., and Jamarkeiz Jenkins, 29, Mauldin, S.C., all died in the crash, Eubanks said.
Zaire Lamond Hewins and Chrishanique Yeargin, both 22 and from Greenville, were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. McFaddin didn’t have any information about their conditions, nor did the hospital.