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What we know about the high-speed chase that left a woman dead in Laurens County

GSP says a Laurens deputy used a PIT maneuver to end the chase

LAURENS COUNTY, Ga. — For at least the second time this year, investigators are working a high speed chase in Laurens County.

A Laurens County deputy used a PIT maneuver to end the chase Thursday, causing the fleeing Nissan Altima to "overturn" and crash, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

A PIT maneuver is when a deputy uses their vehicle to bump a fleeing vehicle, forcing it to stop. 

A day after the Thursday evening wreck, the skid marks were still visible on the stretch of Highway 441 where it happened roughly two miles outside of Dublin.

Orange flags trace the path of the Altima to its final resting place. 

The car has since been removed, but the spot was still littered with shattered parts and potentially life saving equipment Friday. 

Blue latex gloves and an apparently used packet of "electrode pads" were scattered in the dart.

"I feel for the family, I really do," said William Watts, a witness to the aftermath.

"I was praying to the Lord 'please let these folks be okay and make it home back to their families,'" he said Friday.

Watts arrived soon after the crash, when the scene was flooded with first responders.

For at least one of the three people in that wrecked car, Watts' prayer may have been answered.

GSP says the car's driver, 29-year-old Malik Harmon, was airlifted to Medical Center Navicent Health with "possible serious injuries."

Watts called it "a very bad scene." A backseat passenger didn't make it. 

GSP says 40-year-old Andrea Jones died from injuries sustained in the wreck.

A third person in the car, Deandre Munn, was taken to Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin for "minor injuries," according to GSP.

"My sympathy goes out to the family," said Laurens County Sheriff Larry Dean, who called Jones' death a "tragedy."

"But we had to take the necessary action to stop (the car)," he added. 

Dean says the deputy who used the PIT maneuver (identified by GSP as Brett Bullard), acted within all Laurens County Sheriff's Office policies and did so as a last resort to stop the driver.

"He had already run numerous people off the road and it was just a critical situation," said Dean. "We actually mirror the Georgia State Patrol policies and procedure. We reviewed our policy and we have total compliance with it thoroughly through. All our road deputies are PIT certified...when it prevents a great threat to the public safety. Basically that's what had happened in this situation."

He said Harmon led deputies on a 20-mile chase through Laurens County, and law enforcement initially tried to use "stop sticks" but Harmon avoided them twice.

According to Dean, deputies then used the PIT maneuver as Harmon got within about two miles of the city of Dublin and a high-traffic intersection there.

"According to the National Traffic Safety Board, between 4:45-6:45 p.m. Thursday was the busiest time of the year," said Dean.

The wreck, he said, happened around 5 p.m.

When asked, Dean declined to say how fast the deputy and Harmon were moving.

On Friday, Georgia State Patrol said they were still conducting their own investigation of the crash.

The chase started in Dodge County. Investigators have not said why the chase was initiated.

GSP does say "charges are pending" upon the completion of their crash scene reconstruction team's investigation.


What is a PIT maneuver, and when are they used?

High-speed chase ends with motorcycle crash in Monroe County

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