One man is dead, a second was arrested on murder charges and a third was injured after a street racing incident in the North Georgia mountains ended with disastrous consequences Saturday night, authorities said.
Rhyan Coley Davis, 37, of Gainesville, was killed when his Mitsubishi Lancer crashed head-on with a Nissan Murano, then jumped a guardrail and landed down an embankment on Ga. 17 in Union County, a Georgia State Patrol spokesperson said. The driver of the Murano, a 65-year-old man from Colbert, was injured and taken to the hospital.
The second alleged street racer, 23-year-old Qayyim Yah Yah Ali of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, crashed his Dodge Challenger in Helen and was arrested there, GSP said. Ali is being held in the Union County Detention Center on at least 10 counts, including murder and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, GSP confirmed.
The incident began when a state trooper saw Davis’ Lancer and Ali’s Challenger speeding on Ga. 348, also known as the Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway, GSP said. The trooper attempted to stop the cars, but according to GSP, they sped away on the twisty mountain road through the Chattahoochee National Forest.
The trooper pursued for about 13 miles to the end of the road, where they both turned north on Ga. 75A, GSP said. The chase continued for another 2½ miles to Ga. 17, where the Lancer turned left and drove north while the Challenger turned right and headed south.
The trooper turned left to follow the Lancer, which continued to flee at an “extremely high rate of speed,” the GSP spokesperson said. As the Lancer attempted to negotiate a curve, it crossed over the center line and hit the Murano head-on, GSP said.
While troopers were working the scene of the fatal crash, they were contacted by Helen police about the Challenger, which had also crashed, the spokesperson said.
The incident is under investigation, according to GSP. No further information has been released about the condition of the injured driver.
In addition to his two felony charges, Ali faces misdemeanor counts of speeding, aggressive driving, reckless driving, racing, reckless stunt driving and driving under the influence of marijuana, among others, jail records show.