Man arrested for speeding on highway with another driver; second driver in hospital

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Cobb County Police said racing is to blame for a crash which shut down a freeway and sent one of the speedsters to the hospital and other to jail.

It happened Thursday night during rush hour on Interstate 285 near Atlanta Road where a black Charger crashed into a semi-truck.

Police said racing is at the root of this crash where a black Dodge Charger crashed into a semi-truck on Interstate 285 near Atlanta Road.

“A Dodge Charger was essentially racing a Nissan Altima. The Dodge happened to move from the far left lane to the right lane and collided with the trailer,” said Officer Neil Penirelli with the Cobb County Police Department.

RELATED: Accident shuts down I-285 at Atlanta Road in Cobb County

Officer Penirelli said the Charger and a purple Altima were swerving in and out of traffic and speeding before the Charger crashed into the big rig which had stopped with the flow of traffic.

He said the driver of the Charger, identified as 18-year-old Stephen Jasper, of Stockbridge, was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the big rig was not injured.

“What if there had been instead of a big rig a mom with her kids in a van or something. It’s a total lack of respect for themselves, the people that love them and the innocent people driving,” said Bruce Darling, a motorist getting gas at a station near the crash site.

Cobb County police told FOX 5 News the driver of the Altima and a passenger stopped at the crash scene.

Investigators added the driver, identified as 25-year-old Ashkelon Procope, of Lithia Springs, left the scene before police arrived and was identified by the passenger.

Officer Penirelli said investigators contacted Procope who returned to the scene where he was arrested and charged with racing, reckless driving and serious injury by vehicle.

The driver of the Charger could still face charges, depending on his recovery.

“Sometimes also if an individual is sent to the hospital depending on what happens with the individual in any serious accident charge may be changed later down the road,” said Officer Penirelli.

For Michael McLemore who drives a high-performance Camaro, the racing incident is one to ponder.

“Even though I have a high-performance car it’s not meant to be raced. If you want to race they got tracks and things of that nature, but you don’t race on the highway where you’re putting people lives in danger,” said McLemore.

The driver of the big rig was a 59-year-old man from Athens, Texas.