A trooper's patrol car crashed into a house in Winder on Friday night.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Georgia State Patrol car crashes into Winder home during chase

A Georgia State Patrol trooper’s car crashed into a home in Barrow County on Friday night, authorities said.

Steven Wilhelm, the homeowner, told Channel 2 Action News he was on the porch when he saw the patrol car approaching.

“I was actually at the bottom of the steps, trying to work myself up, and I barely got the door closed when he came through the house,” Wilhelm said.

This is the home that was hit by the patrol car. (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

Wilhelm and his family weren’t hurt when the car hit their Winder home, but it did knock off some bricks from their steps and leave a big hole in one of the house’s walls, the news station reported.

“Very terrifying,” Wilhelm said. “I’ve been through some very close encounters in life. That’s far beyond the closest.”

A GSP incident report obtained by AJC.com said the trooper was chasing a suspect on Charles Court, which led to the incident.

The suspect, Terence Smith, 30, of Athens, exited his vehicle while it was moving, causing the trooper to hit Smith’s vehicle along with Smith and another parked vehicle, the report said. That caused the trooper to lose control of his car and run into Wilhelm’s home.

Smith was later arrested and faces 13 charges, including DUI, driving with a suspended license and eluding a police officer, the report said.

Wilhelm told Channel 2 the chase should’ve stopped once they entered his neighborhood.

“You have all rights to call off a chase when you come into a subdivision in a residential area,” Wilhelm said. “There’s children that play on that street.”

Wilhelm said he believes his insurance will pay for the damages.

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