Georgia State Trooper Police Chase Ends in Teenage Driver's Fatality

Posted by Richard Lawson | May 10, 2020 | 0 Comments

Clayton County Courthouse

Jonesboro Ga. - In today's post, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline a news story that happened earlier today. According to reports out of Clayton County, four suspects started a police chase there that ended up in DeKalb County.

The police involved in the chase were Georgia State Troopers. The details of what incident initiated the chase have not yet been released. 

What has been released, however, is that the chase resulted in a fatal collision. The 17-year-old victim, Jade Deleonardo, was killed in the collision and the 19-year-old passenger, Reniya Armstead, was severely injured. 

The result of this police chase as well as several other factors makes it a felony offense. I have gone through the law below. 

Fleeing or Attempting to Elude in Georgia

Fleeing or attempting to elude in Georgia is typically classified as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The penalties if convicted can include up to $5000 in fines and between ten days and twelve months in jail.

However, as displayed in the story above, there are also situations in which the offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is escalated to a felony offense. These situations include when a driver flees and:

  • Operates his or her vehicle in excess of 20 miles an hour above the posted speed limit;
  • Strikes or collides with another vehicle or a pedestrian;
  • Flees in traffic conditions which place the general public at risk of receiving serious injuries;
  • Commits a violation of paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 40-6-391; or
  • Leaves the State.

If convicted of felony fleeing or attempting to elude, the penalty can include up to five years in prison.

Practice Note

The offense of fleeing or attempting to elude is one of many related offenses to the crime of DUI in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been arrested for any of these serious traffic violations, call our offices today. 

A Georgia DUI Attorney can help you through the entire process. Call now. 


When are we going to learn that police chases are inherently more dangerous than letting someone go and then tracking them down at their home later on? Too many innocent people have been killed because of these chases, and in almost all circumstances (unless it involved a dangerous felon) they should be stopped. 

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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