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Driver hangs on for dear life during high speed chase; trooper shot

An Albany man is is custody after a chase from the Atlanta metro area through Lamar County that ended in Monroe County Tuesday afternoon. During the chase, the truck’s operator clung to the back of his rig. When the chase ended, the suspect had to be forced from from the truck. During the chase, a state trooper based in Forsyth was inadvertently hit by friendly fire. The trooper, identified as Tre Howard, was hit in the arm by two shotgun pellets as other officers fired at the truck’s tires. Authorities at the scene said his bullet-proof vest likely saved his life as he was hit in the chest and wrist. The tractor rig – without a trailer – was stolen from a Kroger parking lot in Union City just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. The truck’s operator, Torrey Lang of Lithonia, ducked into a cell phone store but left his engine running and his door unlocked. The suspect, 27-year-old Milo Demetris Banks of Albany, allegedly jumped into the truck and drove off. Lang jumped onto the side of his vehicle as it was being driven off and, once the chase began, was unable to jump off. The truck operator clung to the back of the vehicle and rode out the chase – clocked at 40-50 mph – down I-75. Officers used stop sticks to try to halt the truck. One set tangled around the axle and eventually brought it to a stop. Television news cameras broadcast the chase when a man (now identified as Lang) jumped off the back of the truck and onto the interstate. Banks had to be forcibly removed from the cab of the truck. As he was being removed, Trooper Howard was hit by friendly fire. Lang jumped from the rig near the end of his ordeal and was immediately checked out by paramedics. He did not sustain any major injuries. Banks was briefly housed in the Monroe County jail and later transported back to Atlanta. Video courtesy of Atlanta 2 – ABC affiliate.(video may take a moment to load due to connection speeds) ”″ FOLLOWING ACCOUNT FROM WILL DAVIS OF THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER: A Georgia state trooper from Forsyth is expected to be OK after being shot by friendly fire during the high-speed chase of a carjacked tractor trailer Tuesday afternoon. Trooper Tre Howard was driving one of the lead cars in the I-75 pursuit of the southbound tractor trailer when Monroe and Butts county deputies opened fire on it. The driver had stolen the rig, which didn’t have a trailer, from the Union City Kroger and headed south on the interstate. The owner of the rig had caught the suspect driving off with his truck and jumped on the rig held onto to the back of the cab during the entire 40-mile chase. When the pursuit got to Monroe County, deputies put out stop sticks to disable the rig, and the deputies opened fire on the rig’s tires. But one of bullets went through trooper Howard’s patrol car, striking him in the chest and the wrist. Howard was wearing a bullet proof vest that may have saved his life. He was treated and released from the Medical Center of Central Georgia. With his tires flattened, the suspect, Milo Banks of Albany, continued driving on the rims as smoke billowed out before finally stopping near exit 190 at the truck weigh station. He resisted arrest but was taken into custody. The chase began after Fulton County received a 911 call around 1:40 p.m saying that a tractor trailer (minus the trailer) was stolen from the Kroger parking lot in Union City. The truck’s driver, Torrey Lang, of Lithonia, stopped at a cell phone store housed in the Kroger shopping center and left the truck running and unlocked while he went inside the store. Banks, 27, of Albany, then got into the cab of the truck and locked the door. Lang approached his truck and jumped onto the side of the vehicle as it was being driven off to try and stop the suspect from stealing the truck. At that point, the vehicle was traveling too fast for Lang to jump off so he held on the back of the truck cab as Banks drove south down I-75. The Union City Police Department spotted the truck after the company that owned the truck, U.S. Express, and the truck’s driver made calls to 911. Banks refused to pull over and drove between 40-50 miles per hour during the chase. He finally stopped near mile post 190 in Monroe County after stop sticks wrapped around the axle of the truck. He was forcibly removed from the truck cab by law enforcement. While law enforcement officers attempted to remove Banks from the truck’s cab a State Trooper was shot by friendly fire from another law enforcement officer. The GBI is assisting other law enforcement agencies, including the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, in the investigation of this incident. Georgia State Patrol plans to charge Banks with fleeing and attempting to elude, felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer and theft by receiving the stolen truck. More charges may be issued while the investigation continues. Milo Banks was held in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office jail but was transported to Fulton County. Allison Selman-Willis of the Monroe County sheriff’s office said authorities aren’t sure whose bullet hit Howard.

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