Two dead in Whitfield County following sheriff's office pursuit

Two men died in a vehicle crash Thursday night after a Whitfield County Sheriff's Office deputy used a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver in an attempt to stop the vehicle they were in during a pursuit, according to a Georgia State Patrol motor vehicle crash report.

The report said the men who died were Zachary Lumpkin, 25, of White, and Shadow Stanley, 20, of Dalton. An obituary lists Lumpkin's address as Resaca. Whitfield County Coroner Greg Bates said both men were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

According to the report, Lumpkin was driving a 1992 Ford Ranger south on Highway 41/State Route 3 near Robin Hood Drive in southern Whitfield County at about 7:45 p.m. The report said Lumpkin was "fleeing" from a "marked" sheriff's office patrol car "with blue lights and siren activated" driven by Deputy Christopher Hicks.

The report said the deputy "performed a PIT maneuver to terminate the pursuit" while the Ranger was traveling south "in the north travel lane." The patrol car struck the Ranger "in the right rear with the left front of" the patrol car. The Ranger "rotated clockwise and slid sideways onto the west shoulder until going airborne." The driver's side of the Ranger struck a power pole and the vehicle "overturned, coming to an uncontrolled final rest facing southwest on the west shoulder on its top side."

The report said Lumpkin was partially ejected. Stanley had to be extricated from the vehicle.

"The deputy is currently on administrative leave with pay per the sheriff’s office protocol," said Capt. Clay Pangle, who oversees the Patrol Division, in an email. "The sheriff’s office is currently conducting a use-of-force investigation due to the use of the PIT maneuver which is also sheriff’s office protocol. The sheriff’s office use-of-force investigation is still ongoing and cannot be concluded until we receive GSP’s (Georgia State Patrol's) final report."

Pangle did not respond to a question about why the Ranger was being pursued by the deputy.

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