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Friday May 22nd, 2015 10:47PM

Banks County vehicle pursuit ends in arrest

By Rob Moore Reporter
HOMER - A Grayson man faces numerous charges after fleeing from and colliding with a Banks County deputy Thursday night.

According to Banks County Sheriff's Office reports, 46-year-old Mark Robert Gilliam of Grayson is charged with possession of methamphetamine, aggravated assault on an officer, obstructing or hindering an officer, removing or affixing license plate with intent to conceal or misrepresent identity, weaving over roadway, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, failure to obey stop sign, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and driving while license suspended or revoked.

Banks County Deputy Sheriff Luke Montgomery was on routine patrol on Interstate 85 near mile marker 152 when he observed a blue Chevrolet truck with a South Carolina license plate failing to maintain its lane as it traveled north on I-85, the departmental incident report states.

As he caught up to the truck, it left I-85 on Exit 154 (Georgia Highway 63/Martin Bridge Road).

The report states Montgomery witnessed the truck cross over the white fog line, nearly striking the guardrail. The truck turned right onto Georgia 63, then right onto Georgia Highway 59 toward Commerce.

When radio traffic cleared, Montgomery activated his blue lights to initate a traffic stop in the area of Georgia Highway 164.

At that point, the driver of the truck failed to yield to Montgomery's patrol car and accelerated to about 70 mph.

Montgomery activated his siren and notified dispatchers of the pursuit, then observed the driver throw a liquid substance out the driver's side window, the report states.

The fleeing truck traveled into the opposing lane of traffic while going around curves and uphill, the report states.

The pursuit entered Jackson County and continued toward Georgia Highway 15 (U.S. 441). The truck failed to yield right of way as it entered Georgia 15 from Georgia 59.

As the pursuit re-entered Banks County, Deputy Brian Westmoreland joined it in the area of Pottery Factory Drive.

The truck, traveling 75 mph in a 45-mph zone, ran the red light on Georgia 15 at I-85 southbound.

The fleeing truck made a U-turn at the intersection of Outlet Drive.

As Montgomery attempted to perform the PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) Maneuver, the suspect vehicle swerved into the same lane as Montgomery's patrol car.

The passenger side of the truck collided with the driver's side of the patrol car.

"The collision forced the driver's side of Deputy Montgomery's patrol car to lift approximately five feet off the pavement before slamming back to the ground," the report states. "The collision caused moderate damage to the driver's side of Deputy Montgomery's patrol car."

Both vehicles came to rest in the median of Georgia 15.

Westmoreland commanded the driver of the truck to get out of the vehicle with his hands raised, then to lie down on the ground, where Montgomery handcuffed him and placed him under arrest.
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