Derrick Pritchett of Stone Mountain was pronounced dead Saturday after being transferred to WellStar Kennestone Hospital. Police are not releasing the name of a 16-year-old passenger who died at the scene because he is a juvenile.
Police said they saw a blue 1996 Cadillac breaking traffic laws on Windy Hill Road near Leland Drive. A brief chase ensued after police attempted to stop the vehicle as it entered the Interstate 75 southbound onramp. Police said that instead of stopping, the car sped onto the interstate and got away from the pursuing officers.
“They never really lost sight of them, but the officers were not on their heels,” Cobb Police spokesman Officer Mike Bowman said.
As the officers approached the southbound ramp from Cumberland Boulevard, they found the Cadillac on its roof and on fire. Police said evidence collected at the scene suggest the car drove through the intersection and struck two concrete curbs and a retaining wall before flipping.
Bowman said the driver’s actions suggest he was intoxicated. He said that department policy allowed officers to pursue Pritchett after the police car’s lights and sirens were turned on and Pritchett “took off.”
Any police chase will involve a review and investigation up to the chief of police, Bowman said.
“It goes up the chain of command and through other members of command staff as well,” he said. “That’s whether it’s a fatal or if I chase you a mile down the road and you stop.”
A second juvenile passenger was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he was listed in stable condition after undergoing surgery Saturday morning.