Search on for suspect in crash after car lands in pond; 3 killed

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Search on for suspect in crash after car lands in pond; 3 killed

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Authorities are investigating a chase and deadly crash into a pond near the Flint River. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM
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  • One man was able to escape the crash and remains on the run.

Three men were killed and another escaped and is on the run after a chase ended with a crash into a pond near the Flint River, police said.

Eddie Alford, 21, of Jonesboro, Devongelo Hunter, 19, of College Park, and Mark Mathis, 19, of Jonesboro, died in the crash, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said.

Devongelo Hunter (left), Eddie Alford and Mark Mathis (Credit: Clayton County Sheriff's Office)

Police are still looking for a fourth person who escaped the wreckage and fled. He has been identified, but his name was not released. 

The two-county chase began when Fayetteville police received a 911 call from a Sprint company security guard about 4:20 a.m., officials said in a multi-agency news conference Monday.

The guard saw a car approach the front of the Sprint store and three men get out and smash in the front window, Fayetteville police Capt. Mike Whitlow said.


“The security guard yelled at them this is private property. Y’all need to leave,” Whitlow said. 

The men yelled back, finished the burglary and sped off northbound on Ga. 85, Whitlow said.

Police put other local law enforcement agencies on alert for the vehicle and soon a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy spotted it.

“He tried to catch up to the vehicle and then actually shadow it until he could get some backup,” Fayette County Sheriff Barry Babb said.

When the suspects realized a deputy was tailing him, they sped up, initiating a chase, Babb said.

The vehicle later collided with another and landed on its roof in a private pond near the intersection of Flint River and Taylor roads, officials said.

Multi-jurisdiction law enforcement news conference. Video by John Spink/AJC

No law enforcement officials were injured in the chase.

Police found three of the four men in the vehicle. 

“Officers went into the water and extracted the people and tried to save them,” Clayton County police Lt. Wayne Thrift said.

Authorities survey the damage Monday morning. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

Two of the men had warrants out for their arrest in several jurisdictions, police said.

The driver of the other vehicle in the crash was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

A diver checks out the wreckage Monday in a pond near the Flint River. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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