Driver, 21, Arrested After Porsche Slams Mall In Atlanta And Huge Fire That Shreds And Envelops Multiple Businesses
- The driver, identified as Theodore Merchant, was on the run from the Georgia State Patrol when he drove into the Piedmont Plaza shopping center, causing a fire.
- The chase began around 4:05 a.m. when a GSP trooper registered the Porsche Cayenne traveling at 105 mph in a 55 mph zone on the Downtown Connector
- The trooper overtook the driver before fleeing again from the crash
- The impact of the crash set off a fire that started in a financial company and spread to several other businesses in the strip mall, including a Papa John’s
- The fire brigade was finally able to control the fire around 06:00 with an air raid
- Merchant was arrested and is being treated for minor injuries at a hospital
- He is expected to be booked into the Fulton County Jail later on Friday
A Porsche Cayenne crashed into a mall in northeast Atlanta Friday morning, damaging several businesses when a fire broke out.
The driver, identified as Theodore Merchant, 21, of Virginia Beach, was on the run from the Georgia State Patrol when he pulled into the Piedmont Plaza shopping center.
The strip mall is on Piedmont Road near Cheshire Bridge Road, the GSP told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Firefighters finally managed to contain a fire in an Atlanta strip mall on Friday morning with the help of an airstrike
The fire started after a Porsche Cayenne entered the strip mall while evading police
The accident happened in the early morning hours and the fire brigade fought until at least six o’clock in the morning.
WSB-TV reports that the chase began around 4:05 a.m. when a GSP trooper registered the Porsche Cayenne traveling at 105 mph in a 55 mph zone on the Downtown Connector.
The trooper managed to overtake the driver before fleeing again, leading to the crash.
“At the intersection of Cheshire Bridge and Piedmont Circle, the vehicle drove straight across the intersection, over a raised concrete island before leaving the roadway,” a SAP spokesperson said.
“The Porsche struck and drove into a row of buildings,” she added.
The impact of the crash set off a fire that started in a financial company and spread to several other businesses in the strip mall, including a Papa John’s.
The incident started when the driver of the Porsche drove 80 km/h over the limit
After a chase, the driver drove over a raised concrete island onto the square
Anita Ford, who owns the plaza, told the Journal-Constitution that this isn’t the first vehicle incident at the comic book store.
“It’s not the first time a car has driven into the building from that angle, but it’s the first time it’s caused so much damage,” Ford said.
“There was a significant amount of fire,” said Douglas Hatcher, chief of the Atlanta Fire Brigade. “Some structural damage and sagging of the roof – that’s why we didn’t send anyone back inside.”
The charred remains of the Porsche Cayenne were all that was left after the crash
The driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries after his arrest
The fire brigade was finally able to contain the fire around 06.00 with the help of an airstrike FOX 5 Atlanta.
After the fire was extinguished, the fire service worked to remove the wrecked Porsche from the building it was in.
Meanwhile, Merchant was arrested and is being treated for minor injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital, but was expected to be booked into the Fulton County Jail afterward.
It’s not clear how extensive the damage is to the strip mall, which also includes a Supercuts and chiropractor’s office.