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Good Samaritans catch teen driver after Buckhead hit-and-run

By Chelsea Prince, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News And Talk #atlanta-ga

Three men working on a Buckhead construction project did not hesitate when they saw a wrong-way driver slam into a car in the middle of an intersection last week and take off running.

The men told Channel 2 Action News they chased the driver about 200 yards before catching up with him. Chase Albrecht said he called upon his jiujitsu training to hold the driver, a 16-year-old boy, until authorities arrived just before 2 p.m. Friday.

“I pinned his hip down, and I had shoulder pressure on his chin to keep him from turning into me,” Albrecht told the news station.

The wreck seriously damaged 23-year-old Brittany Lopez’s small SUV. In an interview with Channel 2, she said she just bought the car two days before and was driving it home from work when she was hit at the intersection of Peachtree and Stratford roads.

Video of the crash obtained by the news station shows Lopez turning left onto Peachtree when a Mercedes-Benz SUV comes barreling through the intersection traveling the wrong way. The impact smashed the front of Lopez’s car and sent both vehicles into the middle of the intersection.

“All I can remember is seeing the side of the airbag explode, and I blacked out,” Lopez said.

Her father was traveling in the car behind. Lopez said her father wanted to chase down the teenage driver but stopped to check on her first.

“By the mercy of God, I lived,” she told the news station.

When police arrived, they apprehended the 16-year-old and confiscated a handgun and $4,000 cash, according to Channel 2. He was taken to a hospital and later released to his parents with a copy of his charges, which include reckless driving, hit-and-run and possessing a weapon as a minor.

According to the news station, the teen had stolen his mother’s vehicle and did not have a driver’s license.

Both police and Lopez are praising the three construction workers for their actions that brought a quick resolution to the case.

“I am forever grateful to them. God bless you guys,” Lopez said in a video message. “You guys are amazing.”