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Police: Driver avoids checkpoint, crashes into pole in Long County after high-speed chase
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The driver of this F-150 avoided a traffic checkpoint in Walthourville and led officers on a high-speed chase before crashing into this power pole at Griffin and Tibet roads in Long County, according to the Georgia State Patrol. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine

Troopers manning a checkpoint in Walthourville were led on a high-speed chase into Long County when the driver tried to avoid the stop, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

GSP Trooper Glen Walters said he and Trooper Lyle Thurmond were conducting roadside checks at the intersection of Griffin Road and Arnall Drive in Walthourville when Richard Whittle, who was driving a Ford F-150, suddenly turned around to avoid the checkpoint shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Walters followed Whittle, who veered into a nearby mobile home park at high speed. When Whittle left the mobile home park, he again increased his speed as Walters pursued him, the trooper said. Whittle at times ran stop signs and drove into ditches, Walters said.  

Whittle eventually lost control of the pickup at the intersection of Griffin and Tibet roads in Long County, where he struck a power pole, Walters said.  

When the trooper asked Whittle why he drove away, Whittle said his license had been suspended, Walters said. Whittle had no outstanding warrants and was not intoxicated. 

Walters said the most serious charge Whittle faced was driving with a suspended license and that he more than likely would have bonded out in a few hours.  

Whittle now faces charges of driving with a suspended license, failure to maintain lane, and reckless driving, and possibly more offenses, Walters said.  

Whittle was not injured. He was taken to the Liberty County jail.

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