Michael Gregory Ashby

Michael Gregory Ashby

A Catoosa County man created quite a stir on the roadways Sunday evening, July 30, when he allegedly caused two different accidents and fled the scene from both, police say.

According to the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department:

Michael Gregory Ashby, 33, of 54 Spencer Street in Ringgold was arrested July on charges of reckless driving, too fast for conditions, two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, DUI, open container, following too closely, and fleeing or attempting to elude.

Ashby was released from jail on bond early Monday morning.

Police Capt. Gary McConathy said Ashby's ordeal began around 7:45 p.m. Sunday when he rolled backward into another vehicle near Battlefield Parkway at Lakeshore Drive.

"Mr. Ashby was driving a Mazda 3 vehicle that apparently rolled back, struck the vehicle behind him," McConathy said. "There was a passenger in Ashby's vehicle that was yelling at the car behind them. He said something to the effect of 'we'll shoot you', and then drove off."

When Ashby took off, the person in the vehicle he struck called 911 and then began following Ashby trying to get the license plate number for police.

Shortly thereafter, Ashby crashed into another vehicle parked in traffic, which caused a pileup of vehicles.

"He (Ashby) got to South Cedar Lane, and there's a rise on a hill," McConathy said. "He couldn't see traffic backed up just passed the hill and rear-ended cars in traffic. He hit the one car and that caused a chain reaction with the cars waiting in traffic."

Overall, six cars were impacted as a result of Ashby's reckless driving on South Cedar, causing traffic to be closed for a while crews got it sorted out.

Ashby's passenger was even ejected from the vehicle during the incident.

"There were several injured, but only 0ne seriously injured, which was the passenger in the suspect's car who was yelling obscenities at the vehicle from the first wreck," McConathy said. It's considered an ejection, but he was hanging out of the window when the wreck occurred."

McConathy said the majority of the injuries were of the bumps and bruises variety, but that the ejected male passenger suffered broken ribs and lacerations to his face and arms.

While tending to the accident victims, officers also had to deal with Ashby running from the scene of the second wreck on foot. Officers saw him running down Cloud Springs Road when they arrived on scene and found him near a concrete pile near a business.

Officers also found an open container of Jim Beam whiskey in the passenger compartment of the car.

"The good thing is that no one was seriously or fatally injured," McConathy said.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.