A high-speed chase Saturday night ended in an accident at the intersection of highways 144 and 17 in Richmond Hill. Although no one was seriously injured, the wreck did tie up traffic for a few hours.
According to Richmond Hill Police Detective Major Mike Albritton, the chase began in a gated community on 144 East when an off-duty Richmond Hill Police officer monitoring his radio heard a dispatch call about a possible drunk driver in a 2010 Dodge Challenger traveling east of Richmond Hill on Highway 144. The officer, who was in the River Oaks Villa gated community on 144, encountered the driver, who later was identified as Fort Stewart soldier Steven Hawkins, 23. He reportedly was driving through the neighborhood at about 50- 60 mph in a 15 mph zone.
With the officer in pursuit, Hawkins reportedly attempted to leave the community but was stopped at the gate, which didn’t open right away. Albritton said Hawkins put his hands outside the driver’s window as if to surrender, but as the officer approached the Dodge, the gate opened and Hawkins allegedly fled, turning left onto 144 toward Richmond Hill.
Several units attempted to stop the vehicle as it reached speeds of over 100 mph.
As Hawkins reached the intersection of highways 144 and 17, he allegedly ran a red light and slammed into a 2001 Chevy Silverado driven by Rodney Sanks, causing it to roll over on its side.
Sanks and Hawkins were taken to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
According to Albritton, Hawkins is charged with fleeing in an attempt to elude, failure to obey a traffic-control device, failure to stop at a stop sign, driving under the influence and reckless driving.