interstate chase

The 2018 Chevy Cruze driven by Courtney Renee Taylor, 23, burst into flames moments after the vehicle was struck head on by a suspect fleeing authorities on Interstate 20. Taylor was removed from the Cruze before it exploded and was transported to Piedmont Newton Hospital.

A dangerous car chase that began in Greene County ended in a fiery crash in Newton County after a harrowing 30 minutes of high speed, reckless driving with multiple agencies attempting to stop the fleeing suspect.

According to Capt. Lee Stancil, Greene County Sheriff’s Office, a Greene County deputy on Tuesday, June 29 at 1:14 p.m. attempted to stop a rented 2020 Chevy Impala driven by 28-year-old Dontrail Walter McDaniel, Columbia, S.C., for speeding westbound near mile marker 134. Stancil said McDaniel ignored the deputy’s attempts and took the westbound Greensboro exit 130 and then drove towards Greensboro. The Chevy then turned around as a second Greene County deputy gave chase and drove back to the interstate and continued westbound, with two Greene County deputies in chase.

In Morgan County, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies attempted to use “stop sticks” at the Buckhead, 121 exit but that effort did not slow down the Chevy.

According to Stancil, the Chevy then took the 113 exit in Madison but drove over the Monticello Highway and back onto the interstate. The Chevy again took Exit 101 in Newton County, crossed over Georgia Highway 278 and then re-entered Interstate 20, driving westbound in the eastbound lane when the Chevy struck a 2018 Chevy Cruze head-on.

According to Capt. Dietrich Roland, Morgan County deputies had ceased the chase after the Chevy left Morgan County but arrived on scene moments after the crash and helped secure McDaniel and aided the driver of the Chevy Cruze, 23-year-old Courtney Taylor, to exit the vehicle moments before it exploded in fire.

Roland said six Morgan County deputies were involved in the chase as it worked its way through Morgan County.

According to a Georgia State Patrol reports, Taylor’s vehicle was forced backward on impact and struck the front of a 2016 Chevrolet Equinox driven by White Plains resident Charles Highland Simpson, 50.

McDaniel was arrested and detained at the scene, Stancil said. He was transported to Morgan Medical Center, treated and released to Greene County officials. He is currently detained at the Greene County Detention Center.

Stancil said McDaniel was wanted on a Georgia Parole Violation and that may have been the impetus for him attempting to flee from law enforcement officials.

“To put so many lives at danger when you do that over a warrant,” Stancil said, “I don’t understand the mindset.”

McDaniel is charged with speeding, fleeing and attempting to elude, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, DUI, possession of a drug related object, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, suspended registration and open alcohol container. He is also being held on the outstanding parole violation warrant.

Taylor, Simpson and Amy Simpson, 44, a passenger in the Equinox driven by Charles Simpson, were all transported to Piedmont Newton Hospital for treatment.

Stancil said the chase extended 35 miles before the crash.

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