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Comer teen survives after car 'exploded' in crash at end of high speed police pursuit

By Joe Johnson

A teenager last week survived a high-speed crash in which his car “exploded,” ending a pursuit by police from Athens Clarke and Madison counties.

The Friday afternoon chase began in the Athens Clarke city of Winterville, where the 16-year-old Comer resident fled from a traffic stop that was initiated due to him speeding, according to a Madison County Sheriff’s Office accident report.

The teen drove his BMW sedan at about 120 mph as he fled on State Route 72 from Winterville into Madison County, the report notes.

A deputy who joined the chase wrote in the report that the BMW sped between other vehicles on the roadway, and at one point the teen turned around and headed east toward Colbert, traveling in the westbound lanes of the divided highway.

The deputy noted in the report that when the BMW crashed into a heavy-duty John Deere service truck, it seemed as if the car “had exploded in the middle of the roadway, leaving debris in all directions.”

When the deputy arrived at the crash site, he observed the BMW’s roof had been torn off and was lying beside the wrecked car.

The teen was still strapped inside the car and was removed from the vehicle by EMS and fire personnel, according to the accident report.

The teen and the John Deere truck’s driver were transported to the hospital.

Madison County sheriff’s Capt. Brenan Baird expressed amazement that the teen survived.

“(He) should have been an instant fatality from the speed and type of collision, but he was awake and talking when EMS hauled him off,” the deputy said Monday morning. “I have not heard any updates on his medical prognosis, but EMS and deputies on scene seemed to think, at the time he was transported, that he would make it.”

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