UPDATE: Valdosta high-speed chase suspect identified

UPDATE: Valdosta high-speed chase suspect identified

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A man died following a high-speed chase with officers Friday night around 11:30 in Valdosta.

“The smartest thing you can do is stop, no matter what your problem is.” according to Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

Deputies said Catavin Napier, 19, sped off after deputies attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation.

Once the chase reached Knights Academy Road, deputies backed off from the vehicle because “stop sticks” were put down in an effort to pop the tires and stop the suspect, according to Sheriff Paulk.

Napier was going over 100 mph, Paulk said.

“Somebody runs like that. You don’t know if you got a rapist. You don’t know if you got a robbery. If you got a car thief or the car has been reported stolen... I mean, it’s not like you just say ‘I won’t pursue it.,'" said Paulk.

Officers said they are out here with a drone, searching for a bag that was tossed out of the window during the chase.

Before reaching the stop sticks, Napier lost control of the vehicle because of wet road conditions and deep curve. The vehicle overturned and he was ejected, officials said.

“It puts your life in danger. It puts others’ lives in danger. You know with equipment now and other vehicles that are out there with law enforcement, you’re gonna get into a situation," said Paulk.

Napier was pronounced dead on the scene. Two passengers were also in the vehicle. A man and woman were airlifted to a hospital.

Paulk said he doesn’t expect that they will face any charges.

Officers also said they are out here with a drone, searching for a bag that was tossed out of the window during the chase.

No matter what was in that bag, Sheriff Ashley Paulk says it wasn’t worth risking their lives.

No word on their condition at this time.

Georgia State Patrol and the Sheriff’s Office are still investigating this incident.

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