A wrong-way driver in a large work van led police on a chase along Veterans Memorial Highway Tuesday afternoon before crashing head-on into a pickup truck and being revived from an apparent drug overdose, according to Cobb Police.
Multiple people were injured, though the exact number of people involved in the crash in Mableton is at this point unknown, police say. The identities of the individuals involved have not yet been released.
Cobb Police Sgt. Wayne Delk told the MDJ that around 1 p.m., an off-duty Cobb officer was traveling eastbound on Veterans Memorial Highway near Floyd Road, when he noticed a white passenger van traveling the wrong direction toward him.
Delk said the officer turned around and alerted on-duty officers to assist in stopping the van, but the driver did not respond to the police lights or sirens.
“The vehicle continued westbound, utilizing not only the westbound lanes but also the eastbound lanes, going from edge of the roadway to edge of the roadway, up on the sidewalk. So it was a definite danger not only to motorist traffic but also pedestrians on the sidewalk,” he said.
Delk said officers attempted to spin the van out with their police cruisers in what is known as a PIT maneuver, but weren’t able to because of the size of the van.
He said the pursuit came to an end near Davis Drive, where the van collided head-on with a four-door pickup truck carrying a family, though Delk added he could not yet confirm how many people were in the truck or if any of those occupants were minors. No one in the truck sustained life-threatening injuries, but were taken to a local hospital, he said.
After the crash, Delk said the driver of the van appeared to be uninjured but was unresponsive when removed from the vehicle. While transporting the man to a local hospital, Delk said first responders revived him with Narcan, a drug used to reverse the effects of a drug overdose.
“It is believed that he was likely under the influence of drugs while he was driving,” he said.
Delk said thanks to officers’ ability to slow the van down before the crash, more serious injury and death were avoided.
Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash and remained on the scene around 3:30 p.m.