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1 driver, 3 vehicles, fiery crash = multiple charges

By BETH ALSTON
beth.alston@americustimesrecorder.com
www.americustimesrecorder.com

AMERICUS — It was like a scene from a bad action movie Sunday afternoon in eastern Sumter County. Stolen vehicles. A crash and burn wreck. Law enforcement in hot pursuit. All leading to the arrest of a Macon County man.
It all started around 4:30 p.m. when the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office received a call to respond to a traffic accident at Brady and Mask roads.
Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant laid out the order of what occurred.
At the wreck scene, the man driving the car involved stole a pickup truck from a passerby. A look-out was posted for the truck and a bystander followed the truck, reporting to the sheriff’s office on its whereabout.
Meanwhile, a woman from Americus notified authorities that her car had been stolen by a man whom she had provided a ride to — to the Americus Police Department. That car was the one involved in the wreck.
Authorities located the stolen truck being driven around the gazebo in DeSoto. The Leslie Police Department patrol cruiser in pursuit of the truck was struck in the side by the truck before the suspect sped away on Ga. Highway 195 North toward Andersonville.
The Leslie Police officer stayed in pursuit, and once the truck crossed Leslie-Lamar Road, the truck stopped, backed up, and rammed the patrol car in its front. The patrol car also backed up, but was struck by the truck twice more.
The truck took off again, turning onto Cooper Road which dead ends. The truck struck a large pine tree and burst into flames. The driver got out and walked two houses down and stole another woman’s car as she drove into her yard. Less than a mile from where he stole that car, he pulled into the driveway of another resident, threatening her and attempting to take her car. That woman fought back and refused.
The suspect then ran into the wood line back to the flaming truck wreck. Sheriff’s deputies were on site and the suspect walked to the middle of the roadway and lay down, surrendering to authorities.
Col. Bryant said the suspect was checked by EMS at the scene and was OK.
Jason Alex Wiggins, 29, of Ideal is charged with multiple offenses and housed in the Sumter County Jail.