First Update (6/27/13)
Brandon Marquis Smith has been released from South Georgia Medical Center and subsequently arrested and transported to the Lowndes County Jail.
Smith faces charges of financial transaction card theft and failure to wear a seatbelt. He is also being sought by the Broward County, Florida Sheriff's Office for an outstanding arrest warrant.
Lowndes County Sheriff's Officer make three arrests after chase leads to suspects crashing into into another vehicle head on.
Sheriff's officials say that on Thursday afternoon, around 4:15, a deputy assigned to the Interstate Criminal Enforcement unit of the Sheriff's Office observed a Toyota Camry traveling north on Interstate 75 with the windows tinted over the allowed limits. The deputy performed a traffic stop near the 15 mile marker and as the deputy began to approach the vehicle, the vehicle sped away leading to a chase north on the interstate. The vehicle exited the interstate at exit 22 and proceeded toward Valdosta and after a couple of turns eventually turned onto Old U.S. Highway 41 North where they struck another vehicle head-on. The fleeing vehicle left the roadway and flipped several times.
The three occupants of the vehicle, 23-year-old Steven Toussaint, 26-year-old Noel Patrick, and a third, unidentified person were not seat belted. All three were injured and transported to South Georgia Medical Center for injuries sustained in the crash. The driver of the other vehicle, which was struck, had minor injuries but was not transported for treatment. His vehicle sustained extensive damage. Toussaint and Patrick were released from the hospital and were transported to the Lowndes County Jail. The third person was hospitalized for additional treatment of his injuries.
Officials say that during the investigation, they learned that the driver had fled because one of the parties in the vehicle was being sought for arrest warrants in Florida. Deputies also located a number of driver license and credit cards that were not issued to any of the persons in the vehicle. Investigators confirmed that the items had been stolen from various locations in south Florida. Additional investigation is being conducted and the rightful owners are being contacted.
Toussaint has been charged with fleeing and attempting to elude, financial transaction card theft, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence, weaving over the roadway, failure to wear a seatbelt.
Patrick has been charged with financial transaction card theft and failure to wear a seatbelt.
Patrick and Toussaint will appear for an arraignment hearing in the Lowndes County Magistrate Court Friday where a bond will be considered. Additional charges on the trio may be forthcoming as this investigation progresses.