A high-speed chase that began in Pendergrass ended with a wreck in Gainesville on Saturday afternoon.
A suspect driving a blue pickup truck failed to yield to a traffic stop in Pendergrass and led the town’s police chief and several Georgia State Patrol troopers on a pursuit along U.S. 129 into Gainesville.
Sgt. Anthony Coleman of the State Patrol identified the driver as Danny Jackson, 39, of Gainesville. Coleman said Jackson was under the influence and driving with a suspended license and registration when he failed to stop in Pendergrass.
He was arrested at the scene of the crash and transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with unknown injuries.
The Pendergrass chief of police and Georgia State Patrol pursued the pickup into Gainesville with speeds topping 100 mph as the chase proceeded some 20 miles down Ga. 129. Gainesville police and the Hall County Sheriff’s deputies served in a support capacity, blocking off intersections and performing other tasks during the pursuit.
The chase ended when the pickup struck another vehicle at the intersection of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Downey Boulevard. The driver then crashed into a pole in front of the Valero Gas Station on Jesse Jewell.
Danyell Clark stepped out of her home on Downey Boulevard after the noise from the chase caught her attention.
“I heard a ‘whoom,’ which made me realize something was really wrong,” Clark said. “I walked outside and it was this blue truck speeding. He was doing 100 (mph) or more.”
Clark witnessed the crash between the pickup and the other car, which was proceeding through a green light on Downey when the truck ran the red light coming down Jesse Jewell.
“He (the pickup driver) hit them, literally plowed straight through them, and kept going, spun around twice, knocked the whole front end off, and kept going and hit the pole,” Clark said.
According to Clark, the occupants of the car didn’t have any time to react.
“The (car) could not have seen (the truck) coming,” Clark said. “There was no way possible they could’ve seen him coming, as fast as he was going.”
The occupants of the other vehicle were unharmed.
“I ran up (to the crash site),” Clark said. “I was like ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to make sure they (the occupants of the other car) are OK. I literally saw everything, and it scared me. Thank the Lord they are OK.”
Jackson then was then taken into custody.
“The trooper and Hall County units arrested (Jackson) out of the vehicle without any other incident,” Coleman said.
Jackson faces a “long list of charges” from the GSP alone, according to Coleman, including reckless driving, failure to yield at a stop light and failure to maintain his lane.
The reason Jackson’s license and registration were suspended prior to the chase is currently unknown.