Driver flees from police checkpoint, wrecks car

by Wes Mayer

A man is now facing a multitude of charges after he attempted to flee from Coweta Sheriff’s Office deputies on New Year’s Day, crashed his vehicle, and seriously injured a passenger of his vehicle in the process, authorities said.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a 1996 Ford Ranger approached a license checkpoint on Herring Road, said Lt. Col. Jimmy Yarbrough with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. The driver, later identified as Darrius Navour Herring, 33, was driving a too fast and ended up braking very quickly in front of the deputies, Yarbrough said.

According to Yarbrough, deputies approached Herring and saw three passengers asleep and slumped over in the car. Herring answered deputies with slurred speech and had bloodshot eyes, Yarbrough said, and when deputies asked for Herring’s license, he gripped the wheel and hit the gas.

Deputies pursued Herring southbound on Herring Road toward Bullsboro Drive, Yarbrough said, and speeds reached around 100 mph. At high speed, Herring attempted to turn left onto Dart Road, but ran into a utility pole head-on, Yarbrough said. Herring then exited the car and attempted to flee on foot into the shrubbery.

Deputies chased Herring on foot, and one fired the barbs of his electric stun gun at him, Yarbrough said. However, due to the suspect’s heavy clothing, the barbs didn’t make contact. Deputies were still able to tackle Herring, and after a struggle, took him into custody.

Deputies charged Herring with fleeing and attempting to elude police officers and two felony counts of obstruction of officers, one for fleeing and one for fighting with them, Yarbrough said. Herring and the passengers were transported to the hospital, and afterward, Herring was transported to the Coweta County jail.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Jason McClung arrived on scene to work the accident, and further charged Herring with multiple traffic violations. McClung said Herring was definitely driving under the influence, and charged him with driving recklessly, driving too fast for conditions, driving with defective tires, failure to maintain lane, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle and a seat belt violation.

McClung also said he plans on charging Herring for causing serious injury by vehicle — one of the passenger’s in Herring’s vehicle is now in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital as a result of the accident.

Because Herring was driving under the influence, this is another felony charge.

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