Car chase ends in one man’s death

Staff Written Front Page, News

By Patrick Yost


 A Madison man has died of injuries sustained after a car chase that exceeded 130 mph ended with a crash.

According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Octavious Dionte Clark, 29, was pronounced dead at the scene of the culmination of a car chase that began near the intersection of Ward Road and Rutledge Highway and ended when the driver of the 2003 Ford Mustang lost control of the vehicle near the intersection of Hollis Harris Lane and Dixie Highway. The Mustang left the roadway and struck several trees and Clark was ejected.

According to Madison Police Chief Bill Ashburn, the driver of the vehicle, Christopher Dewayne Smith, 28, Madison faces charges of vehicular homicide, DUI, reckless driving, laying drag and open container following the Friday, Nov. 27 incident. The crash occurred at approximately 9 p.m., reports state.

Ashburn said Morgan County Dispatch had received several reckless driving complaints and a city officer was sitting in a patrol vehicle across from Pennington Seed and allegedly observed the Mustang accelerate quickly out of Ward Road with the tires spinning and the vehicle “fish tailing.” The officer, Ashburn said, activated emergency lights and attempted to make a traffic stop. The Mustang initially slowed around Confederate Road as if to stop but then accelerated and allegedly ran stop signs at the intersection of Brownwood Road and Dixie Highway. 

Ashburn said the Mustang was not the vehicle reported to Morgan County Dispatch that had been allegedly driving recklessly.

During the chase, the Mustang reached speeds greater than 130 mph, Ashburn said and eventually lost control. Clark was not wearing a seat belt, GSP reports state, and was ejected. Ashburn said officers performed CPR on Clark at the scene until emergency responders arrived but Clark was pronounced dead.

Ashburn said suspected marijuana and some type of pills were located in the vehicle. The pills have been sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for identification. Smith is currently detained at the Morgan County Detention Center.

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