A McDonough, GA man faces multiple charges after leading authorities in two counties on a high-speed chase up I-85 that ended in the death of one of his passengers.
It began about 2p Tuesday in Banks County when deputies there tried to stop a silver Toyota Corolla for speeding near exit 149. According to Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, his officers were notified by Banks County and took up the pursuit near Exit 160.
“We received a call that the Toyota was headed into Franklin County on I-85 exceeding speeds of 100mph,” Thomas said late Tuesday afternoon. “We also had two deputies at Exit 166 and they put out stop sticks and attempted to stop the vehicle.”
Thomas said Banks County Sheriff’s office indicated deputies said they saw items being thrown from the Toyota as it sped up the Interstate.
Thomas said the suspects avoided the stop sticks and raced up the Interstate weaving in and out of traffic and also traveling on the shoulder passing vehicles at speeds of over 100mph.
The State Patrol joined in the chase and at one point, the driver of the Toyota lost control but was able to regain control and continue up I-85.
As the chase neared Lavonia, one of the GSP troopers got along side of the Toyota a t which point Thomas said the suspect side swiped the trooper’s cruiser.
That caused the driver of the Toyota to lose control a second time.
“At that time, the driver went off the road down an embankment and struck a tree,” Thomas said. “One person inside the vehicle died at the scene, a second person was air lifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital and a third was taken to Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia.”
Thomas said one person inside the vehicle, a passenger, died at the scene. She is identified as Marion Ahlexus Shore, age 19, from McDonough.
A second person, identified by the Georgia State Patrol as the driver, was air lifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, in Greenville, SC.
He is identified as 21-year old Thanquarius Calhoun, of McDonough.
Georgia State Patrol spokesperson Gordy Wright said Calhoun is charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, felony fleeing, driving under the influence drugs, and reckless driving.
Wright said Calhoun also faces charges in Banks County.
A third person in the vehicle was also injured and according to Thomas, taken to Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia.
He is identified as 20-year old Reitheal Morton, of Dallas, Ga.
I-85 northbound remained closed near the accident scene at mile marker 175 for several hours Tuesday evening as the investigation continued and a helicopter landed near the crash site.
Wright said the State Patrol continues to investigate.