A man traveling with his girlfriend’s two small children in a 2009 Pontiac G6 crashed it along a Polk County highway, then fled the scene even though both children were severely injured, according to authorities.
One of them, a 6-year-old boy, died later at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga, Georgia State Patrol said.
Polk County authorities captured Robert Nelson Wood, 42, of Tallapoosa, after an all-day manhunt Sunday. The search involved a state patrol helicopter, and GSP announced early evening that the driver was caught less than a mile from the wreck site.
Wood has a suspended driver’s license, but was driving early Sunday with the children, according to Polk County Police Cpl. Michael Lynch. He also is on probation for other crimes.
“It’s a tragic situation,” Lynch said.
Wood has done several prison stints, with a rap sheet including theft by receiving stolen property, theft by taking and a drug violation, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website.
The crash happened around 7 a.m. on Tallapoosa Highway, south of Cedartown, which is about 60 miles northwest of Atlanta. Troopers believe Wood veered off the edge of the roadway, striking a ditch and rolling the car over onto its top.
A witness told troopers the driver fled on foot after pulling the children out, according to the state patrol. He apparently left with no shirt or shoes, wearing shorts.
Lynch said police found no evidence of drugs or alcohol at the scene.
Trent Brooks, 6, and Gabriel Brooks, 5, both from Tallapoosa, were taken to Floyd Medical Center and later flown to Chattanooga, a GSP statement said. Trent died at the hospital and Gabriel has serious injuries.
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