GAINESVILLE - Despite numerous warnings from officials to stay off the roads amid hazardous driving conditions, the Georgia State Patrol was forced to engage in a car chase earlier this afternoon in Hall County.
According to authorities, the GSP was called in around 4:40 p.m. to assist local officers in pursuing a 2010 Toyota Prius. The vehicle, which had earlier been reported as stolen, was leading local police on a pursuit when the GSP joined the chase, but eventually the chase was called off and authorities lost contact with the suspect vehicle.
The GSP says later in the afternoon, an officer that had been tasked with searching for the stolen Prius spotted the vehicle in the area of Tanner's Mill Road, at which point the suspect initiated yet another pursuit.
During the course of this second pursuit, the GSP says the Prius slowed down and a passenger emerged from the vehicle. This individual, who was later identified as 31-year-old Melisa Allen of Buford, was captured shortly thereafter.
The trooper that had initially spotted the vehicle was able to re-establish contact with the suspect car near the intersection of GA-53 and Tanner's Mill, leading the driver to exit the car and attempt to flee on foot. The suspect, whom authorities have identified as 30-year-old Gainesville resident Christopher Lamar Whitfield, was captured following a foot chase of roughly 100 yards.
Following their arrests, authorities say both Whitfield and Allen admitted to having consumed methamphetamine, and were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for evaluation.
The GSP says that after the pair is released from the hospital, the Whitfield will face charges of felony fleeing and attempting to elude, DUI, reckless driving, and an assortment of other traffic charges. Allen will not be charged in the case, according to the GSP.