Ludowici police Chief Frank McClelland Jr. was killed Saturday when he was hit by a speeding car being chased by police.
Photo: WSAV-TV
Photo: WSAV-TV

South Georgia police chief hit, killed during high-speed chase

A high-speed chase through two South Georgia counties Saturday night killed a local police chief and a 61-year-old bystander.

Ludowici police Chief Frank McClelland Jr. got out of his patrol car to direct traffic when the police pursuit headed out of Liberty County to McClelland’s Long County, according to the Georgia State Patrol. He was hit by the fleeing vehicle, which then went out of control and careened into a motorcyclist near a gas station at the intersection of Ga. 38 and Ga. 57. 

The motorcyclist was identified as Marvin Pope, Savannah NBC affiliate WSAV-TV reported. He and McClelland died.

The chase started when a Liberty County deputy tried to stop 23-year-old Daniel Hill’s vehicle about 7 p.m. Saturday on Ga. 196, authorities said. State troopers took the lead in the pursuit when it came down Ga. 38.

Daniel Hill
Photo: Liberty County Sheriff's Office

“A Long County deputy successfully deployed stop sticks near mile marker 8 on Ga. 38, but after striking the stop sticks the suspect continued fleeing westbound on Ga. 38 at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour,” a GSP spokesman said.
Hill’s vehicle continued west into Long County, where McClelland was directing traffic to allow the chase to pass, troopers said. The vehicle crossed into wrong-way traffic before veering back into the westbound lanes, striking the police chief.

“The suspect then crossed back into the eastbound lanes and hit a motorcycle head-on,” the spokesman said.

It all ended when Hill crashed into a vacuum at the gas station and tried to run, but troopers said he was quickly taken into custody. The Savannah resident was taken to Wayne Memorial Hospital to be checked out and was arrested after he was released.

He is being held in the Liberty County Jail on two counts of murder, two counts of first-degree vehicular homicide, a DUI charge and several other traffic-related charges. 

In other news: 

The confrontation happened inside Twin Peaks restaurant and bar along Piedmont Road in Buckhead.

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