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Tree ends high-speed chase
Suspect fled checkpoint
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Forsyth County News

A tree accomplished what a safety checkpoint could not Saturday night, stopping a suspected drunk driver who led Forsyth County sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase.

Christopher Stawasz, 31, has been charged with fleeing or attempting to allude a police officer, a felony, and six misdemeanor charges.

The other charges include reckless driving, obstruction, driving under the influence of alcohol, open container, littering and not wearing a safety belt.

The incident began about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Stawasz reportedly went through checkpoint at Pilgrim Mill Road/Exit 16 at Ga. 400, triggering what Sheriff’s Capt. Frank Huggins said was a chase that topped 100 mph north on Freedom Parkway.

“The deputy observed the driver throw a red cup out the window, which contained a liquid that smashed on the windshield of the patrol unit,” Huggins said. “He said after the pursuit was over, he could smell the odor of alcohol on his vehicle.”

The chase ended at Keith Bridge Commons when Stawasz's Chevrolet Cavalier crossed the center lane and began to skid, Huggins said.

“The vehicle traveled sideways through the entrance of the QT, striking the curb and then continuing sideways onto the grass, striking a tree on the passenger rear of the vehicle,” he said.

Stawasz was checked by emergency medical services after the incident, but refused to take any alcohol tests at the scene.

He was taken to the Forsyth County Detention Center, where he later posted $13,400 bond and was released.

A similar high-speed chase a day earlier ended in a private home in Johns Creek.

The driver, identified as Juan Soto, reached speeds of more than 105 mph in a 45-mph zone.

Soto was not using headlights, failed to maintain the lane and disregarded traffic signals, according to a Johns Creek police report.

The pursuit ended at Jones Bridge Road and Landing Entry after Soto lost control, traveled through a brick wall, across a yard and into a home.

None of residents were injured, the report said.

Soto tried to outrun an officer before being subdued with with a Taser.

As of Monday night, he remained in the Fulton County Jail.