Moultrie Observer

Local News

January 6, 2014

Police chase ends in crash; Sylvester officer hurt in separate wreck

MOULTRIE — Patients from separate weekend car crashes were airlifted to a Tallahassee hospital, where they remained on Monday.

One of the wrecks occurred during a police chase that originated in Moultrie, while the second involved a Sylvester police officer who lives in Colquitt County who was returning home from work on Saturday.

Sylvester Police Department Patrol Off. Chandler Giddes was in good condition Monday and Joshua Westbrook, 29, of Moultrie was in fair condition, a spokeswoman at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare said.

Moultrie police reports said that an officer got into a chase at about 9:41 p.m. Friday of a 1993 Chevrolet 1500 pickup truck that Westbrook was driving. The officer tried to make a traffic stop on First Avenue Southeast near Veterans Parkway because Westbrook was not wearing a seat belt and a check indicated that there was no insurance and an expired registration on the truck.

When Westbrook did not stop police began a pursuit that ended when Westbrook wrecked at the intersection of Old Adel Road and Clarence Norman Road.

The crash occurred at about 9:57 when Westbrook, driving south on Clarence Norman Road, was unable to stop at the intersection of Old Adel Road and skidded more than 210 feet before striking a tree, Georgia State Patrol reports said.

Julie Canfield, 31, of Moultrie, a passenger in the truck, was not injured, the reports said.

Westbrook was charged with driving while declared habitual violator, driving on the wrong side of the road, open container in vehicle, no insurance, safety belt violation and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

The other crash involved a Sylvester Police Department 2009 Crown Victoria, which Giddes, 21, was driving south on Albany-Sylvester Highway at about 7:10 a.m. Saturday. The Crown Victoria collided with the rear end of a 2013 Dodge Ram whose driver was making a left turn from Albany-Sylvester Highway.

Zeeshan Mohammed, 35, of Houston Texas, told police that he saw two cars approaching from behind as he was turning into a business parking lot, and seeing one pulling out to pass he maintained his position to let both cars go by. The first car passed him, and Giddes, who was behind the other vehicle, crashed into the rear of the truck.

Mohammed was not injured.

Sylvester Police Chief Robert Jennings said Monday that Giddes was on his way home from work at the time of the accident. No citations had been filed as of Monday.

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