The man accused of leading officials into a high-speed chase in Lee County Tuesday afternoon crashed twice before he was captured in Columbus, according to testimony in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Edward Baez, 35, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning to reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, disregarding a traffic control device, no proof of insurance, no state tag and fleeing to elude. He was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $17,625.
Judge Julius Hunter bound the case over to Superior Court.
Columbus police were called to the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Whitesville Road around 2 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a three-vehicle crash that left one person with severe injuries.
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Officer Donald Knight said Baez led officials into a high-speed chase in Lee County in a 2006 Pontiac Torrent.
Details concerning the reason behind the pursuit have yet be released, but at the time Baez had outstanding warrants in Russell County related to an incident that occurred before Tuesday. He was wanted on one count of attempting to elude, reckless endangerment, no driver’s license and reckless driving.
Officials said Baez was being pursued when he crashed in front of the Phenix City Home Depot near US Highway 280. He allegedly fled the scene without reporting the incident, and Phenix City police then joined the chase.
Knight said the suspect was speeding when he ran a stop light at the intersection of Veterans Parkway and Whitesville Road in Columbus. He crashed into the left side of the 2005 Scion xA that had entered the intersection from the northbound lane on Veterans Parkway.
A 23-year-old woman in a 1998 Ford F-150 was stopped at the intersection on a red light. She was facing northwest on Whitesville Road when the Scion driven by a 35-year-old man struck her vehicle as a result of the first collision, Knight told the court.
The Pontiac Baez was driving was disabled after the wreck. Authorities said he ran from the car, but he was captured after a short foot chase.
The only individual injured in the three-vehicle crash was the driver of the Scion. He transported to the Columbus Midtown Medical Center to be treated for a severe concussion as well as neck and back injuries.