2 dead after stolen vehicle slams into car during police chase

A busy southwest Atlanta intersection was shut down Wednesday afternoon when the driver of a stolen vehicle sped from a traffic stop and caused a collision that killed two people, authorities said.

The crash happened at the intersection of Campbellton Road and Lee Street as officers chased the driver, Atlanta police said in a news release. The two people who died were in the car that was hit by the stolen vehicle.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday identified the victims as 43-year-old Mark Hampton and 44-year-old Jermaine Jackson. Both lived in southwest Atlanta, officials said.

About 2 p.m., officers tried to conduct a traffic stop near the intersection, and the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee did not pull over, the release said. Police said the vehicle had been taken in an armed carjacking just before 2 a.m. Wednesday at a Wells Fargo ATM at 921 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.

While driving north on Lee Street, the Jeep’s driver ran the red light at the Campbellton Road intersection, hitting the other car, police said. The impact pushed that car into three other vehicles, whose occupants suffered minor injuries.

Two 19-year-olds were in the Jeep, Channel 2 Action News reported. They ran from the scene before officers caught them, police said. The passenger in the Jeep had a handgun when he was arrested.

They were both taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where they remained Wednesday night. It’s unclear what charges they will face when they’re medically cleared for release.

Police have not identified the men.

At the scene Wednesday afternoon, Atlanta police explained their decision to pursue the vehicle at high speeds.

“It does fall within our standard operating procedure,” Deputy Chief Jeff Glazier said. “We don’t chase everyone. We’re very strict on who we allow our officers to chase. In this case, since the vehicle was taken (at) gunpoint — it was a carjacking — we did allow the chase to continue.”

The Georgia State Patrol is assisting Atlanta police in the investigation.