BARROW COUNTY, Ga. - An unborn child was killed during a police chase in Barrow County that led to multiple vehicle crashes, according to the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities identified the woman as Nichole Allen, 27, who was pregnant. The driver of the third vehicle involved was not identified.
Deputies have arrested the suspect, 36-year-old Aubrey Arnold, of Athens, in connection with the March 2 accident. He is charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, feticide by vehicle, driving under the influence and multiple traffic violations.
The pursuit started after deputies responded to the Shell Gas Station on Atlanta Highway for report of a person who is wanted for outstanding warrants out of Barrow and Jackson counties, authorities said. Upon arrival, a deputy reportedly made contact Arnold and asked him to exit his vehicle. Instead, Arnold drove off, striking the deputy, and eventually colliding head-on with Allen’s vehicle on eastbound Highway 82. The third vehicle involved in the crash did not sustain much damage, deputies said.
Arnold and Allen were both transported to Athens Regional Medical Center for treatment.
Authorities said Allen did lose her baby as a result of the crash.
The deputy involved was not seriously injured.
According to court records, Arnold has been arrested and convicted multiple times on different charges out of Barrow and Jackson Counties.
A Winder woman is recovering in the hospital after losing her unborn child in a wreck with a fleeing felon, according to investigators.
It happened March 2 as Barrow County deputies were pursuing a man wanted for numerous felonies. Deputies said Aubrey Arnold, 36, of Athens, crashed head-on into a black Kia Forte. That car was driven by 27-year-old Nicole Faith Allen who was pregnant at the time.
Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said Arnold was fleeing from deputies in his silver pickup at more than one hundred miles per hour when the collision occurred on highway 82.
"She was unfortunately was pregnant and lost her unborn child when due to the impact of the crash," said Sheriff Smith.
On North Broad Street in downtown Winder a sign reading “closed due to family emergency” was taped to the front door of a candle shop known as the Dispensary.
Hubie Rumer, who helps his wife with her purse shop next door, said Nicole Allen opened the store about a month ago. He said a friend of the family came by after the crash, bringing the bad news.
"She ended up losing the baby and I think some other injuries but to me that's murder," said Mr. Rumer.
Sheriff Smith said Arnold had multiple previous felony warrants he was wanted for involving possession of meth and child support issues among them.
"He's got a rap sheet very long very lengthy you could define him as a career criminal," said Sheriff Smith.
The sheriff said Arnold fled from a Shell gas station on Atlanta Highway when approached by deputies who were working an anonymous tip. In his getaway, the sheriff said Arnold sideswiped a deputy who wasn’t hurt. A few miles down later, Arnold crashed head on into Nicole Allen, causing the loss of her unborn child, and sending her to the hospital.
The sheriff said he struggled over the pursuit of Arnold, but defends the decision.
"We've struggled but when he impacted our deputy he made a conscious choice he made a conscious decision. He tragically impacted this family and our community," said Sheriff Smith.
Hubie Rumer hopes the criminal justice system comes down hard on Arnold.
"Whatever the guy gets me he deserves ever bit of it plus more," said Rumer.
Sheriff Smith said Arnold faces charges of DUI, aggravated assault on a police officer and feticide by vehicle for the death of the unborn child. He said that charge has a mandatory 20-year prison sentence if convicted.
The sheriff said the family of Nicole Allen was too distraught to speak publicly as she continues her recovery at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.
Sheriff Smith said as soon as he is able, Arnold will be transferred to the Barrow County Detention Center.