Dramatic footage shows the moment a patrol car is hijacked during a routine traffic stop and then pursued by helicopter, before crashing on the railway tracks where it was struck by a train.
In footage of the incident, including body-worn cameras, it can be seen at the conclusion how officers managed to pull the suspect, 29-year-old Mickal Parker, from the wreckage of the patrol car moments before it was hit by the train.
The incident happened on January 28th around 2:09am when an Atlanta Police officer conducted a traffic stop at 2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW. in Atlanta in the US State of Georgia.
While the officer was speaking to the driver and letting him off with a caution, a person later identified as Parker entered the driver seat of the officer’s patrol car and fled the location.
The officer immediately notified dispatch of the incident, and the information was relayed to the Atlanta Police Department’s Air Unit which, by chance, was already in the air and actively patrolling at the time.
The Air Unit quickly ascertained the location of the stolen patrol car and called out the direction of travel as officers on the ground followed at a safe distance.
Shortly after taking the vehicle, the suspect lost control of the patrol car at the intersection of McDonough Blvd. and Hank Aaron Dr. SW.
The vehicle overturned and came to a rest partially on the nearby train tracks. With the assistance of the Georgia State Patrol, officers acted quickly to remove the suspect from the vehicle just seconds before an oncoming train struck the patrol car.
The suspect was taken into custody and charged with theft by taking, fleeing and alluding, reckless driving, obstruction, and damage to city property and was ultimately transported to Fulton County Jail.
In a statement obtained by Newsflash from the City of Atlanta Police Department, they said: “This incident is one that truly shows no traffic stop is routine.
“The officers involved were quickly able to transition from traffic enforcement to stolen vehicle recovery and then transition again to preservation of life.
“We are proud of the efforts of the units on the ground as well as in the air, as they all worked to safely conclude an incident that could have ended in death or seriously bodily harm.”