Sheriff Dies in Crash During Highway Chase in Rural Georgia

Posted at 2:35 PM, Jun 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-16 14:51:33-04

SAVANNAH, GA. (AP) - A Georgia sheriff has died after he crashed while aiding deputies in a highway chase in rural Montgomery County.

Authorities said Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O'Connor was killed early Tuesday, as deputies and state troopers pursued a fleeing vehicle in southeast Georgia. Agent Eve Rodgers of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the chase started in neighboring Toombs County late Monday, shortly before midnight.

Rodgers says the fleeing driver fired shots at three pursuing officers. She says the sheriff joined the chase when it crossed over into Montgomery County and he died after crashing on Highway 56.

Rodgers says the fleeing driver, 35-year-old Jim Edward Lowery, has been charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and attempting to elude a police officer.

O'Connor was elected sheriff in 2012.