ATHENS, Ga. – A University of Georgia student led police on a high-speed chase through Athens early Thursday morning.
Hunter Ty Wilkerson, 19, is facing over 25 charges including three counts of possession of fake ID, DUI, reckless driving, interfering with traffic control signs and more. Wilkerson also faces two felony charges of fleeing and attempting to elude police.
Just before 3 a.m. Thursday, UGA police said they spotted Wilkerson driving a Ford F-150 make an illegal left-hand turn from River Road onto East Campus Road behind Sanford Stadium. The officer followed Wilkerson and saw multiple traffic control signs mounted to stand in the bed of the truck, according to the police report.
Wilkerson got too far ahead and for safety, the officer alerted dispatched and put a BOLO out for the truck. Since the only known violations at the time were improper turn and possible possession of stolen property, the officer felt there were no factors present that warranted the potential risks that come with police pursuits.
Minutes later, Athens-Clarke County police ran found multiple traffic signs in the road at College Station Road near the intersection of East Campus Road. While there, police saw the truck sitting at an intersection and appear to take a picture of the scene, the report stated.
Police attempted to pursue the truck through backroads but lost sight before they could follow.
Minutes later, Wilkerson was caught driving around 85 to 90 mph down South Milledge Avenue, a 35-mph street, according to an ACCPD report. An Athens-Clarke County police officer pursued Wilkerson down Milledge Ave. and said Wilkerson crossed into the other lane to pass a car.
The report said Wilkerson sped up as he turned onto West Broad Street towards downtown Athens. The officer said the truck was going around 70 to 80 mph and continued to speed up.
As the chase entered downtown, Wilkerson ran three red lights without slowing before turning onto Oconee Street. Police said as Wilkerson rounded the corner by the UGA Police Station, he lost control of the truck, went off the road hitting a curb and went air born.
Wilkerson proceeded to crash into several vehicles parked in a parking lot next to the police station before coming to a complete stop, according to the police report.
Once in police custody, the officer said Wilkerson asked if he could see the damage he had caused. Both reports stated that Wilkerson’s “bloodshot eyes” were “glassy looking” and “seemed to have slurred speech.”
UGA police said Wilkerson had been documenting the chase through Snapchat. In police body cam video, officers are heard saying Wilkerson Snapchatted he was “running from a cop.”
Wilkerson is a member of UGA’s Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity but is currently under suspension. He is currently in Athens-Clarke County Jail on a $31,000 bond.
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