Police chase ends with deadly crash in Rockdale County

A police chase in Rockdale County on Thursday night led to a crash that killed a driver stopped at an intersection and injured several others, including a sheriff’s deputy.

Charges are pending against the driver of a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe, 39-year-old Kidistz Temesgen of Decatur, as authorities said she caused the crash while attempting to elude a Rockdale Sheriff’s Office deputy, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor in the incident, officials said.

Temesgen’s Santa Fe was traveling west on Sigman Road when it struck a 2013 Kia Optima SX, which in turn struck a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado, both of which were stopped at a traffic light at Old Covington Highway, the GSP said. After the initial impacts, the Santa Fe and the Optima each struck Rockdale patrol vehicles.

The driver of the Optima, 51-year-old Yuwadee Theerakanok, of Jonesboro, was killed. Her passenger, 52-year-old Somphone Vongvilay, also of Jonesboro, was injured and airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Also sustaining injuries were the driver of the Silverado, 33-year-old Melissa Anderson, of Conyers, and Deputy Joshua Reynolds, 28, also of Conyers. Both were taken to Rockdale Medical Center. Another deputy on the scene was not injured.