Two die in Gordon County wrecks Tuesday evening

May 18, 2022–11:17 a.m.

GEORGIA STATE PATROL/STAFF REPORTS

Authorities investigated two fatal wrecks in Gordon County within an hour of each other Tuesday evening.

The first occurred at around 6 p.m. when the driver of a Ford Explorer lost control of the vehicle as he attempted to exit I-75 at exit 310.

The vehicle flipped several times and 62-year-old Jeffrey Burkhart of Calhoun was later pronounced dead at AdventHealth Gordon.

Meanwhile, the Georgia State Trooper investigating that crash received word that Bartow County Sheriff’s Deputies were pursuing a Nissan pickup truck and the chase was heading his way.

The pickup truck, driven by 33-year-old Joshua T. Eaker of Chattanooga, traveled off the east edge of the interstate and drove around the crash scene through the grass before reentering the interstate.

The pursuit eventually made its way onto Highway 53, where the trooper’s vehicle struck a raised concrete sewer opening along the edge of the roadway, ending his role in the pursuit.

A Bartow deputy performed a PIT maneuver, causing the Nissan to travel into a ditch at a high rate of speed.

The Nissan then struck an ATV that was traveling in the ditch, killing the rider, identified as 48-year-old Dustin Cody Thomas of Calhoun.

No law enforcement officers were injured during this crash. 

Eaker was arrested and transported to the Bartow County Jail.

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