Georgia carjacking update: Man that led police on chase is from - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Georgia carjacking update: Man that led police on chase is from Birmingham

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Rodney Dewayne Smith, Birmingham man that led Georgia law enforcement on a chase that ended in Heflin.  Injuring a child. Rodney Dewayne Smith, Birmingham man that led Georgia law enforcement on a chase that ended in Heflin. Injuring a child.
Authorities work to clear an accident involving a stolen taxi and an 18-wheeler on I-20 West near Exit 205, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (abc3340.com) Authorities work to clear an accident involving a stolen taxi and an 18-wheeler on I-20 West near Exit 205, Tuesday, April 8, 2014. (abc3340.com)

Update, Wednesday:

HEFLIN, Ala. -- A Birmingham man led police on a chase from Georgia to Alabama Tuesday. 

Rodney Dewayne Smith's list of charges includes fleeing or attempting to elude, reckless driving, and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies.  Smith is also charged with several other traffic violations. 

No word yet if the female in the vehicle has been charged.

Orginal Story:

HEFLIN, Ala. -- A little girl was injured when a taxi-cab carjacking in Georgia leads to a chase and a wreck in East Alabama. The taxi was taken in Carrollton Georgia and on a chase down I-20 ended when the suspect drove it into an 18-wheeler near Heflin.

Law enforcement officers chased Kimberly Duggar and Rodney Smith, both 20, for 30 miles on Interstate 20. Heflin police say the couple called for a taxi while at a house fire in Carrollton and that fire could link them to an arson investigation.

"At first it was a relaxing trip from Atlanta to Anniston and all of a sudden total chaos."

Don McCarthy found himself in the middle of a police chase on Interstate 20.

"We were doing maybe 55 to 60 an hour when this vehicle approached us doing 80 to 90, driving like a maniac."

Officers were trying to stop a couple who carjacked a taxi in Georgia.

MCCarthy says, "He pulled on the inside of me to the right and skirted back onto the highway in front of me and tried to make a swift maneuver to the right and hit the back of the truck."

"The chase ended near exit 205. The taxi crashed into back of an 18-wheeler veered off the road and hit a tree."

Benefield says "One of our investigators used a baton to break the window out and we got the subject out of the vehicle."

Also in the taxi, the couple's 4-year-old daughter not in a car seat. Heflin police Chief AJ Benefield carried her away from the scene. "Innocent child in a bad situation."

The situation began after 1:00. Police say the couple called a taxi service while at a house fire in Carrollton. Authorities suspect arson.

Benefield says "The taxi company responded, picked them up and they requested to go to McDonalds. Once they were at the McDonalds parking lot, the suspects pulled a firearm pistol."

After the suspects forced the driver out. Police caught up with them on I-20. The couple and the child were all injured and taken to hospitals. McCarthy says he's thankful no one else was hurt.

"One of the worst experiences I've ever encountered on the road."

Police say the pistol was found in the child's diaper bag. They also say the suspects' motive was, they just wanted to get to Alabama. All three people were hospitalized for their injuries. Benefield says the couple will be charged with armed robbery and attempting to elude. The arson is still under investigation.

 

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