The Union Recorder

Local News

April 14, 2008

Felony charges brought in chase

Police on Monday released new details about last week’s high-speed police chase through downtown that involved three law enforcement agencies and sent two people to the hospital after it ended in a four-vehicle crash.

All but one lane of North Columbia Street at Garrett Way was closed to drivers for at least an hour during evening traffic while police investigated the wreck.

According to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, Laura Turner, 48, of Vinson Highway, faces charges of misdemeanor reckless driving, failure to obey a traffic control device and two felony counts of aggravated assault after allegedly attempting to run over officers from the Central State Hospital Police Department.

Turner was being held at Baldwin County Jail Monday evening without bond, said Marsha Jones of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, a Central State Hospital officer noticed Turner’s 2004 Nissan Sentra driving erratically in the Vinson Highway area, said Dena Smith, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Human Resources in Atlanta, which oversees Central State Hospital.

“The [hospital] police saw a vehicle driving erratically and pursued it with the intention of stopping the vehicle,” Smith said. “That’s how Central State Hospital became involved.”

At some point during the chase, Turner stopped her car, where Central State Hospital officers attempted to remove her from the driver’s seat, Smith said.

“It was at that point a Central State police officer went to the car, when the driver may have started the car again, and the police officer may have had to get out of the way,” Smith said. “I don’t know if that caused any injuries to the officer or not.”

According to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, Turner allegedly attempted to strike Central State Police Sgt. Joe Barron with her vehicle and did strike Central State Police Cpl. Timothy Konzelman in the leg before backing into Konzelman’s patrol car and fleeing toward downtown Milledgeville.

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