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Terrell deputy involved in April chase resigns

DAWSON, Ga. -- A sheriff's deputy from Terrell County who attempted to stop a motorcycle last month that ultimately crashed at the intersection of Whispering Pines and Dawson roads in Albany has resigned, Terrell County Sheriff John Bowens confirmed Friday.

Initial reports on the incident show that around 11:30 p.m. on April 5, the deputy, David Smith, clocked 35-year-old Eddie Streeter traveling 81 mph in a 55 mph zone. Streeter was signaled to pull over, ignored the signal and pulled away at a high rate of speed, Smith said in a previous interview with The Albany Herald.

Smith said he pursued Streeter on U.S. Highway 82 into Lee County, Dougherty County and Albany, clocking his speed as high as 147 mph on the open road before Streeter almost collided with a truck near the intersection of Westover Boulevard and Dawson Road.

Near Lake Park Drive and Dawson Road, the biker spotted several police cars and turned to elude them. Streeter lost control of his motorcycle and crashed at Dawson and Whispering Pines roads, according to reports from Smith.

Bowens said that Smith resigned roughly a week after the incident. An internal investigation into the chase did not reveal much, since Smith's dashboard camera was not on -- leaving a number of unanswered questions as to what happened.

Bowens said Smith said the camera was malfunctioning, but that a later check on the device revealed that nothing was wrong with it.

"Those cameras are hooked unto the lights. Once the lights are turned on, the camera should automatically turn on," he said. "He would have to have turned off the camera manually.

"I don't know why the camera was not on."

Bowens said that the department's policy is to not chase for misdemeanor traffic offenses, and to use precaution in situations where there are felony charges involved.

The policy further discourages initiating a chase just because a driver doesn't stop, although it is unclear whether that applied in this case.

"I never did get a straight answer on that," Bowens said.

Earlier reports indicated that there were several law enforcement agencies notified of the chase before Streeter was ultimately taken into custody by the Georgia State Patrol and later released. Among the charges he was expected to face in Terrell County were speeding, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and attempting to elude law enforcement.

A records search also revealed that Streeter had an outstanding warrant against him in Lake City.