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Teen wrecks motorcycle after fleeing from deputy

COVINGTON — A 17-year-old Covington man crashed his motorcycle after he led a deputy on a high-speed chase that ended in a collision on Salem Road.

Newton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mark Lovell had just finished assisting another deputy with a traffic stop on Salem Road and was traveling toward Fairview Road just after midnight Tuesday when his radar unit alerted that another motorist was traveling 92 mph.

“I got a visual as a motorcycle headed east on Salem Road crossed the double center line and passed several cars,” the deputy stated in the incident report, adding that he turned on his blue lights and siren and turned around to follow the white sports-style motorcycle that was driven by a black male wearing a white T-shirt and white helmet.

“He looked behind his left shoulder and saw me start to try to catch up to him and crossed the double line again and punched the throttle,” Lovell reported.

Lovell saw the taillights of the motorcycle as it approached the intersection of Salem and Old Salem roads and noticed that it was traveling in the oncoming traffic lanes.

“The motorcycle slammed on the brakes and slid into the intersection and turned right onto Old Salem Road,” the incident report states.

The deputy said the motorcycle was a good distance in front of him, but he noticed his brake lights come on as he turned left onto Colony Drive in the Salem Village subdivision. He continued to pursue the motorcycle as it ran several stop signs, even though he never got close enough to see anything but the taillight, the report states.

“The motorcycle entered the intersection of Old Concord Drive S.E. and Salem Road at a high rate of speed. By the time I arrived to the intersection, I figured that I would not be able to determine where he went once he got to the intersection,” Lovell reported.

However, when he got to the same intersection, the deputy saw people out of their vehicles and a black male with a white helmet and white T-shirt lying in the middle of Salem Road. A white sports bike was laying on its side about 20 feet away and on the other side of the intersection were two females standing beside a wrecked Honda Civic.

The driver of the motorcycle, identified as Michael J. Franklin of 375 Creekview Blvd., was cited for speeding (92 mph in a 45 mph zone), improper passing, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless driving and failure to stop at a traffic signal. He was then transported to Grady Memorial Hospital. The driver of the Honda was transported to Newton Medical Center.