Driver arrested after high-speed chase in Habersham County

Noah Park (Habersham County Sheriff's Office)

The driver arrested for drunk driving following a high-speed chase in Habersham County Sunday now faces a laundry list of charges.

20-year-old Noah Park of Cornelia is being held in the Habersham County jail on 21 counts and a $22,775 bond. Those numbers are expected to rise. Officials say more charges are pending.

Initial stop

Authorities arrested Park on March 17 after he fled from a traffic stop in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division, a DNR game warden stopped Park around 8:35 p.m. Sunday after he drove down a road in the WMA that is closed to vehicles at night.

After pulling over the truck, the game warden identified Park and suspected him of having felony warrants.

“He ordered the man out of the vehicle, but Park failed to comply. The driver then put the vehicle in drive and fled from the traffic stop, made a left turn on Dicks Hill Parkway and headed north into Habersham County,” said DNR spokesperson Mark McKinnon.

When the chase approached speeds of 100 miles per hour, McKinnon said the game warden suspended his pursuit.

Pursuit continues

A Ford Maverick pickup truck rests on an embankment above the intersection of GA 365 at Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway. The truck wrecked during a high-speed chase with law enforcement on Sunday, March 17, 2024. (Rob Moore/Habersham County)

The Georgia State Patrol alerted Habersham County E-911 to the pursuit, and sheriff’s deputies responded to the area to look for the vehicle. A resident notified them it was on Hazel Creek Road at Carl Loudermilk Road.

Deputies found the vehicle at that location, but the driver failed to yield to blue lights and sirens, said Habersham County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Rob Moore

With deputies pursuing him, Park crossed Camp Creek Road and turned onto GA 365 South. At Double Bridge Road, he crossed over the highway and began driving south in the northbound lanes, said HCSO Sgt. Chris Carter.

The chase ended when Park wrecked while attempting to turn onto Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway, said Moore. He lost control of the truck, crossed a ditch, and traveled up an embankment.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash, officials said.

Driver, dog taken into custody

A Habersham County Animal Control officer loads the dog into his truck following Sunday night’s chase and wreck. (Rob Moore/Habersham County)

Moore said a dog in the truck would not let officers approach. Habersham County Animal Care and Control (HCACC) took custody of the dog and later turned it over to a family member.

After EMTs checked Park for injuries, deputies transported him to the Habersham County Detention Center where he is being held on the following charges:

Georgia DNR:

  • Fleeing or attempting to elude
  • Failure to obey stop sign
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • Too fast for conditions

Georgia State Patrol:

  • Driving under the influence

Habersham County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Fleeing or attempting to elude
  • Seatbelt violation
  • Failure to yield right of way when turning
  • Failure to obey signs or control devices
  • Failure to obey traffic signal or light
  • Driving within a gore or median
  • Brake violation
  • Obstructing traffic/failure to yield right of way
  • Failure to maintain lane
  • Failure to signal lane change or turn
  • Taillights/taillight lenses required
  • Failure to obey stop sign
  • Failure to obey stop sign
  • Failure to obey stop sign
  • Reckless driving

Moore said deputies were not alerted to any outstanding felony warrants on Park. He said more charges related to the chase are pending.

“Bond on several of the charges will be set when Mr. Park has a first appearance hearing,” said Moore.

Fourth high-speed chase

This is at least the fourth high-speed chase in Habersham County this month.

On March 4, a Demorest man shot and killed himself after leading police on a high-speed chase through Clarkesville.

Four days later, on March 8, state troopers from Hall County pursued a driver into Habersham County after he fled from a traffic stop.

On March 14, a motorcyclist was taken into custody after a two-county chase that resulted in two wrecked patrol cars and a manhunt.

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