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State patrol cars crash during chase

CONYERS - Two Georgia State Patrol troopers wrecked their patrol cars during a car chase on Salem Road on Wednesday that resulted in the arrest of a man suspected of assaulting a Newton County Sheriff's Office deputy.

No one was seriously injured in the collision, which occurred between Wall Street and Flat Shoals Road at 6:10 p.m.

According to GSP Trooper First Class C. Searcy, Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies were chasing a 2003 black Cadillac Escalade north on Salem Road when they gave up the chase at the county line. Two GSP troopers were in the area and took up the car chase inside Rockdale County.

One trooper attempted to move his patrol car in front of the Cadillac in an attempt to box the vehicle in. The Cadillac struck the GSP patrol car when the driver made a sudden U-turn in the middle of the road in an attempt to escape. The second GSP patrol car that was following behind was also involved in the crash, Searcy said.

The troopers arrested the driver of the Cadillac, who was identified as Vicente Lugo, 27, of Conyers. He was charged by the State Patrol for fleeing or attempting to elude, reckless driving, hit and run, driving without a license and improper U-turn, Searcy said.

Lugo was transported to the Newton County Detention Center in Covington and remained there Friday. He was additionally charged in Newton County with DUI and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Staff Reporter Joel Griffin contributed to this article.

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.