Cops: Wrong-way driver fleeing Cobb officers crashes, kills man near South Fulton

A crash involving a wrong-way driver who was fleeing from Cobb County police just outside South Fulton left a man dead during the holiday weekend, authorities said.

According to the Georgia State Patrol, a man in a 2014 Dodge Durango was traveling west in the eastbound lanes on Roosevelt Highway approaching Delano Road just before 1 a.m. Friday. At the same time, 41-year-old Jonathon Denham was in a 2015 Honda Pilot and was approaching the intersection to turn east onto Roosevelt Highway.

The vehicles crashed and spun out before coming to a rest on the shoulder of the highway, the state agency said. Debris from the wreckage was seen scattered across the grassy shoulder, Channel 2 Action News footage showed.

The pursuit of the Durango began after the driver nearly struck a Cobb officer who was on foot along I-285 after ending an earlier pursuit with an allegedly armed suspect, according to police. That pursuit began in Cobb and ended in Fulton County, just south of I-20, after officers conducted a PIT maneuver. No other details were provided about that incident.

Officers initiated a pursuit of the Durango after the close call with one of the officers, but they lost sight of the vehicle shortly after it exited I-285 at Camp Creek Parkway, police said.

The Durango, driven by 28-year-old Jordan Collins, continued onto Roosevelt Highway, where it collided with Denham’s vehicle, according to police.

Denham died at the scene, police said, and Collins was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. His condition was not disclosed.

Collins is charged with aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer and fleeing attempting to elude. He also has outstanding warrants in Pennsylvania for weapons and drug offenses, as well as in Chicago for burglary. Additional charges are pending related to the fatal traffic crash.

Denham’s widow, Candis, told Channel 2 that Labor Day was a holiday that was “made for (her husband).”

“He made steaks that tasted like butter,” she added.

Denham was a father of 10, Channel 2 reported. He and his wife were married on Valentine’s Day of this year.

“I’m gonna miss him forever,” Candis Denham said. “There will never be another one like him — not for me.”

“The Cobb County Police Department wishes to express sincere condolences to Mr. Denham’s family and friends,” police spokesperson Sgt. Wayne Delk said in a statement. “Our officers attempt to remove dangerous subjects from society as safely and quickly as feasible to prevent tragedies like this one from occurring.”

The State Patrol is heading up the investigation, Cobb police said.