A 15-year-old Columbia High School student died Tuesday after the stolen vehicle he was in left the road and crashed into a tree in southwest Atlanta.
The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that Richard Leggins died shortly before 3 a.m. after the wreck on Waters Road.
Police said an officer was driving to a traffic safety checkpoint when he noticed a van picking up speed ahead of him on Mt. Zion Road. The officer followed the van for several blocks and after observing the driver obey all the traffic laws, decided to turn around, police spokesman Officer John Chafee said.
“As the officer was preparing to turn around and continue to the traffic safety check point he observed the van turn onto Waters Rd, turn off its lights and accelerate rapidly,” Officer Chafee said.
The officer then turned onto Waters road and drove in the direction that the van was last seen.
When the officer arrived in the 2800 block of Waters Road he saw that the van had left the roadway and crashed into a tree.
“A passenger fled from the vehicle and was caught a short distance away,” Officer Chafee said. “The driver initially stayed in the vehicle but later fled and was not located. “
The rear passenger was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital where he died.
Investigators learned later that the van was stolen out of DeKalb County. They also found two loaded handguns inside the vehicle.
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