A wreck on the Perimeter's outer loop shut down the interstate in Cobb County.
Photo: Georgia Department of Transportation
Photo: Georgia Department of Transportation

Racing caused wreck that shut down I-285 for hours, Cobb police say

A Stockbridge man was seriously injured Thursday evening after colliding with a tractor-trailer while racing another car on I-285, Cobb County police said.

The wreck occurred about 6:40 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the Perimeter near the Atlanta Road overpass, snarling Cobb traffic for hours.

A 2013 Dodge Charger driven by Stephen Jasper, 18, collided with the semi-truck as Jasper maneuvered in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed, Cobb police spokesman Officer Neil Penirelli said.

Investigators said Jasper was racing a purple Nissan Altima driven by 25-year-old Ashkelon Procope of Lithia Springs.

As the vehicles approached the Atlanta Road overpass, the Dodge was in the far left lane and the Nissan was in the far right lane, Penirelli said. Jasper then tried to cross several lanes, but collided with a tractor-trailer that was stopped because of traffic, police said. 

He was taken to Kennestone Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The driver of the truck, a 59-year-old from Athens, Texas, was not injured.

Procope and a passenger in his Altima stopped after witnessing the crash, but Procope left the scene before officers arrived, police said. He was identified by his passenger and returned later after he was contacted by investigators, Penirelli said.

Procope was charged with racing, reckless driving and serious injury by vehicle. He remains held at the Cobb jail on a $33,220 bond, records show. 

Police did not say if Jasper will be charged.

Ashkelon Procope
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

All lanes were reopened by 10:15 p.m., the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center reported.


The Cobb wreck came hours after a fatal collision shut down I-75 North in Henry County for more than five hours. About 12:15 p.m., a tractor-trailer struck a pickup truck from behind, pushing it into another tractor-trailer near Ga. 20, according to Henry County police.

The fiery crash killed all four people in the pickup truck, and it sent the driver of the tractor-trailer that hit the pickup to the hospital, police said. That driver is now stable.

MORE: 4 dead after fiery tractor-trailer crash on I-75 in Henry County

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