WQCH & Georgia 93.7 Local News Headlines 4-27-23


The Georgia State Patrol released new details yesterday about a fatal crash in Murray County.  The GSP says that one of the vehicles involved had been stolen the morning of the crash, and that its owner died trying to chase the suspect down.  According to GSP’s newly updated preliminary report of Monday morning’s crash, a 1995 Ford Rollback tow truck and a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup collided during the pursuit on GA 286 at Fuller Chapel Road, killing the driver of the pickup and severely injuring  the driver of the tow truck.  The investigation has so far revealed that 47-year-old Steven Oneal Taylor of Toccoa, Ga. stole the tow truck that morning from a home in Whitfield County, and the vehicle’s owner, 29-year-old Kenneth Lee Hawkins, had chased after the suspect in the pickup truck.  Hawkins was pronounced dead on the scene, and Taylor was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga as a result of the collision.

Seven felony arrests reported in Walker County on Tuesday.  Among those booked, 40-year-old Sue Ann Parrish faces charges of theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement.  A complete look at the arrest report from the Walk County Detention Center can be found every day at our new website – DiscoverWalker.com

Gov. Brian Kemp signed tougher penalties for gang crimes into Georgia law yesterday. The move marks the passage of one of his top legislative priorities of 2023 after the Republican put fighting crime at the forefront of his reelection campaign last year.  The new law adds a mandatory five years to prison sentences for anyone convicted of a gang crime and 10 years for anyone convicted of recruiting minors into a gang.  Under Georgia’s previous anti-gang law, anyone convicted of criminal gang activity can be sentenced to an additional five to 20 years in prison, but a judge has the power to waive extra prison time.

Judges could order less prison time if they list specific findings, including that a defendant didn’t have a gun or has no prior felony conviction.

A two-vehicle crash with injuries was reported last night in Whitfield County.  The accident with injuries happened just before 10pm at Mount Vernon Road at Houston Valley Road in Tunnel Hill.  An investigation into the crash is continuing.