A fast ride down a rural road turned tragic for a trio of teens early Sunday morning in western Glynn County, leaving a 14-year-old girl dead, a teenage boy hospitalized and the 17-year-old driver of the sports car behind bars on charges that include first degree vehicular homicide, according to Glynn County Police and Georgia State Patrol reports.
Kylie Burgess, of Hortense, died at the scene of the crash, which occurred at the end of Ratcliffe Road off of U.S. Highway 82 shortly after 2:30 a.m., according to the state patrol. Armen Jordan, 17, of Ware County, had to be cut by firefighters from the wreckage of the 2006 Ford Mustang and was flown to UF Health Hospital in Jacksonville. Jordan remained in the hospital Tuesday, said state trooper Damascus Chambers.
In addition to vehicular homicide, the teen driver is charged with serious injury by vehicle, felony fleeing and eluding police, speeding, and racing, Chambers said. He remained Tuesday in the Glynn County Detention Center. He is being held without bond on the vehicular homicide charge, jail records show. The News is withholding the name of the Pierce County teen at the wishes of the state patrol, which is not releasing his name until its investigation is complete.
The incident started at 2:29 a.m. Sunday when a Glynn County Police officer with a radar speed detector clocked two eastbound vehicles, flanked side by side, traveling east on U.S. 82 at 104 mph, according to a police report.
When the officer followed and attempted to stop the vehicles with the patrol car’s emergency lights flashing, the Dodge Charger stopped on U.S. 82, the Glynn County Police report said. The Mustang that was allegedly driven by the 17-year-old boy attempted to elude the patrol car, making “a sharp turn onto Ratcliffe Road” from U.S. 82, the officer wrote.
Officer Dumas stopped his on Ratcliffe Road at Carlee Lane, awaiting backup officers. That is when the Mustang’s driver allegedly ran up to him, “out of breath and extremely scared,” the report said. He told the officer there had been a crash, the report said.
“I asked (if he) was hurt and he said, ‘No,’” the officer reported. “I asked him were (there) any others in the vehicle and he said yes and they are hurt bad.”
The officer followed the teen to find the vehicle lying on its passenger side near where Ratcliffe Road ends at a private dirt road known as Williamson Avenue, the report said.
Burgess lay outside the vehicle and was “unresponsive,” the report said. Jordan was in the front passenger seat, “responsive and unable to move,” the report said. County firefighters and medics cut him from the vehicle and prepared him for helicopter transport to UF Health.
The driver wore a seat belt, the police report said. Neither Jordan nor Burgess were seat belted, the driver allegedly told officer Dumas. A Glynn County coroner was called to the scene.
Georgia State Patrol took over the crash investigation, which remains ongoing, trooper Chambers said. Chambers said the Mustang was traveling at excessive speed when it reached the end of Ratcliffe Road. Williamson Avenue bends at that point but the Mustang kept traveling straight, he said.
The vehicle crashed through a fence, struck a tree on the driver’s side and hit another section of the fence before overturning, Chambers said. The driver was taken to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital for evaluation before going to jail, according to police and state patrol reports.
At the scene of the crash, officer Dumas asked the driver why he did not comply when the officer attempted to stop him, according to the report. “I further spoke to (him) and asked why he did not stop and he stated that they agreed to run from police, that it would be fun,” Dumas wrote in the report.