Bobby Spears, 39, of 28 Melody Lane NW, Rome was killed after a pursuit that ended in a head-on collision that resulted in Spears being ejected from the vehicle, according to State Patrol Information Officer, Lt. Paul Cosper.
Spears is also a suspect in a Monday night robbery of a convenience store in Cedar Bluff, Ala. According to Cedar Bluff Police Chief, Steve Walden, a man fitting Spears description, and driving a similar vehicle, stole two moneybags containing an undisclosed amount of cash and checks from the Country Store on Highway 9 North in Cedar Bluff.
According to Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston, checks written to the Country Store were recovered from Spears vehicle.
Chief Walden said he could not confirm Spears as the culprit in the robbery until evidence was returned from Gordon County.
According to Ralston, the pursuit began when Spears was pulled over by a Calhoun police officer at around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The chase began after Spears sped off from Calhoun police.
Ralston said Spears had several warrants, including one for a parole violation.
The sheriff’s office took over pursuit when Spears left Calhoun’s jurisdiction, and according to Ralston the chase quickly became a pursuit of a felon after Spears attempted to run officers off the road.
On two occasions Spears drove his late model Chevy Blazer through the front lawns of local residences in an attempt to elude officers.
A Sheriff's deputy attempted to block the fleeing vehicle on East Line Street, where the suspect left the roadway and drove across Fain Cemetery.
Deputy sheriffs and state troopers joined the pursuit as it headed east on Red Bud Road through the Crane Eater and Red Bud communities, eastward toward Ranger.
At the intersection of State Route 156 and US Highway 411, the fleeing vehicle turned left, traveling north on U.S. 411, where a deputy sheriff pulled alongside the suspect vehicle in an attempt to stop it.
Spears drove his vehicle into the deputy's car and then lost control, crossing into the path of an oncoming truck and camper. A head-on collision resulted in the suspect driver being ejected from his automobile. The driver of the truck/camper was slightly injured.
“It blows your mind to think people believe they are going to elude officials, that they’re going to get away,” Ralston said.
Ralston said while it is a tragedy that Spears was killed, officers were within department guidelines in perusing Spears. According to Ralston those guidelines are that officers make every reasonable effort to pursue a suspect while protecting citizens from injury.
“It is our job to protect citizens,” Ralston said. “He had every opportunity to pull over. This individual chose to do what he did.”
Spears was taken to the Gordon Hospital where he was pronounced dead by the on call physician. The collision is being investigated by the Georgia State Patrol.