SAVANNAH, GA (September 24, 2015): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police located and arrested Justin Paul Smith, 25, on Tuesday during an auto theft investigation. Also, SCMPD identified him as the suspect who fled the scene of an accident that injured a woman on 37th and Live Oak streets last Friday night. Today, Smith was charged with multiple traffic offenses for that accident.
Smith was arrested at a residence on the 900 block of 37th Lane with a stolen vehicle in his possession. He is charged with theft by receiving stolen auto.
Friday night, Smith was driving north at a high rate of speed on Live Oak Street in a Toyota Highlander. Smith ran a stop sign and struck Janet Wilkins, 52, who was driving west on 37th Street in a Nissan Sentra. Smith fled the scene on foot. Wilkins was transported by ambulance to Memorial University Medical Center with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries.
Today, Metro’s Major Accident Investigation Team charged Smith with leaving an accident and failure to give aid/information, fleeing to elude police officer, reckless driving, failure to report accident and failure to stop at stop sign. MAIT continues to investigate this collision.
Metro detectives identified Smith as the Toyota Highlander’s original passenger. Minutes before Friday’s 37th Street collision, Smith fled a nearby convenience store during the arrest of Ricky McClendon, 22. McClendon, who was the Highlander’s original driver, was taken into custody by Metro’s Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team (UNIT) on drug and weapon charges. Smith struck two parked and unmarked police vehicles during his getaway.
No other injuries were reported.