BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. — Butts County Sheriff Gary Long said his deputy was nearly struck by the suspects as they traveled over 100 mph along Highway 36.
The Sheriff believes one of the suspects should have been in prison instead of out on the streets.
Now, in the aftermath, a community is confronted with twisted metal and agonizing grief. Two cars collided - one filled with suspects on the run and the other with innocent victims.
"We have members known ‘em the whole time. They’ve been here 50 years - just asking why," friend, Chuck Myers, said.
Authorities say 23-year-old Shikym Jenkins was behind the wheel of a Chevy Impala as it escaped a Monroe County deputy who had stopped him on I-75. Officers in Chatham County had warrants for Jenkins’ arrest.
Also in that Impala was 26-year-old Sukquawn Hayes, a loaded weapon in his lap. There were warrants out for his arrest, too.
And there was Ebony Young who had just been released from prison, allegedly serving only two months of a six-year sentence for dealing drugs and eluding police.
The Butts County Sheriff said the Impala was speeding over 100 mph in the wrong lane of Highway 36 and nearly ran head-on into one of his deputies.
The deputy turned around and found the crash.
"The car didn’t look like a car anymore, it was all mangled up," witness, Apteria Binns, said.
Tony Bowden and his wife Sandra were out with friends Ronald and Judy Martin. The impact of the speeding Impala badly injured the men. Judy and Sandra did not survive.
"She did for everybody and took care of so much stuff and we’re going to miss her," Teresa Parker of the Elks Lodge said.
The loss hits especially hard at the Covington Elks Lodge where Tony and Ronald are members. Sandra was in the Elk’s Axillary.
"My wife and I ate lunch with her and Tony Thursday and then you have this the next day," Chuck Myers said. "Loving, loving people, we’re really going to miss ‘em."
Investigators are left to figure out why people wanted for crimes in Chatham County were so far from home. They also want to know why innocent people had to pay for their decision to run.