Sheriff’s deputies in Georgia on Saturday went in pursuit of a speeding motorist, not knowing that the man had his four young children riding unrestrained in his car, which was crammed with illegal drugs.
The high-speed chase in Douglas County had a tragic ending when Billy Frazier’s sedan ran a red light, careened into a semi-trailer and burst into flames, killing the 30-year-old Atlanta man and his 10-year-old son, QueMontae Frazier.
When Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies ran up to the burning wreck and opened the door, they found three children in the back seat, aged three, five and six.
This screenshot from a dashcam video shows Billy Frazier’s gray Infiniti fleeing from a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy during a high-speed chase on Saturday night
The chase ended with a fiery crash that killed the 30-year-old father and his 10-year-old son, QueMontae Frazier (pictured), and also injured his three younger children (also pictured)
The surviving children were taken to a hospital in critical condition. Their older brother was sitting in the front passenger seat during the chase and suffered fatal injuries in the collision.
The sheriff’s office has released dashcam video showing the five-minute pursuit and its dramatic conclusion.
According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, at around 7.45pm on Saturday, a veteran deputy assigned to the highway safety unit detected that a gray 2006 Infiniti M35 35 traveling south on Thornton Road was doing 69mph in a 45mph speed zone.
The deputy attempted to pull over the vehicle at the QuikTrip parking lot, but as the cop was exiting his patrol car, the driver sped off through the parking lot and back onto Thornton Road in a ‘reckless manner’.
Frazier was being pulled over for speeding when he tried to flee from a deputy
Tragedy: The three-mile chase ended when Frazier ran a red light and smashed into a semi tractor-trailer turning at this intersection in Douglas County
The sedan traveled beneath the truck and burst into flames on the other side
It was not until deputies ran over to the burning car that they discovered that the driver had four children in the vehicle
Frazier (pictured left in an old mugshot) was driving on a suspended license, was on active probation and was in possession of a stolen handgun and a large quantity of drugs with intent to distribute
The Sheriff’s Office stated that because of the suspect’s ‘reckless driving and the fact that the deputy was able to see the driver as the only occupant of the vehicle, the pursuit was allowed to continue for approximately three miles.’
During the chase, Frazier weaved in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed and at one point drove onto the concrete median separate the northbound and southbound lanes, before crossing over Interstate 20 where one of the Infiniti’s rear wheels came off.
Dashcam video from the chase shows how moments later, Frazier ran a red light, crossed into the intersection and struck a semi tractor-trailer that was making a turn.
The Infiniti carrying the man and his four children then traveled beneath the truck until it came to rest on the other side and burst into flames.
An investigation later revealed that Frazier was driving on a suspended license, was on active probation and was in possession of a stolen handgun.
QueMontae Frazier’s basketball coach remembered Billy Frazier as a doting father. He said the 30-year-old dad attended all of his son’s games
A search of the vehicle also turned up a large quantity of prescription medications, Ecstasy, cocaine, crack cocaine, Methamphetamine and marijuana, which officials say Frazier had been planning to sell.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jesse Hambrick said at a press conference on Tuesday that had the pursuing deputy known that there were children in the car and that Frazier’s criminal record included violations for speeding and reckless driving, he would have terminated the chase.
Addressing the deputy’s emotional state in the wake of the deadly crash, Hambrick said he is ‘dealing with this the best he can,’ reported Douglas County Sentinel.
Top brass at the sheriff’s office have reviewed the chase and concluded that it was in line with the department’s policy concerning pursuits.
The investigation into the accident has now been turned over to the George State Police.
Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that QueMontae Frazier was a fifth-grader at Cascade Elementary School and played basketball at the Andrew Walter Young YMCA in Atlanta, where volunteer Fred Hope Jr remembered the boy as a gifted athlete who was passionate about the game.
Hope described Bill Frazier as a doting father who attended all of his son’s games and loved his four children.