A Monroe County deputy broke his back when a Florida suspect rammed into his patrol car during a high-speed chase that covered two counties on Thursday morning, June 9.

Sgt. Kirk Seckinger had joined the pursuit of a Dodge Challenger that had refused to stop for deputy Larry Sullivan around 8:48 a.m. near the Johnstonville Road exit on I-75 south in Monroe County. The driver, later identified as Sergio Marquise Flagler of Sanford, Fla., sped south topping speeds of 130 mph and took the I-475 exit.

There, a 94-year-old driver who had swerved to get out of Sullivan’s way ran into deputy John Thompson, who had also joined the pursuit, causing him to wreck.

Then just past the Musella/Hwy. 80 exit, Flagler was flying down the right-hand emergency when he came upon an abandoned car on the roadside. Sheriff Brad Freeman said rather than stopping or simply changing lanes, Flagler rammed into the 56-year-old Seckinger’s car, who was chasing. The collision violently jarred Seckinger and sent his patrol car into the grassy median and it came to a stop. Flagler’s vehicle also stopped on the interstate and he got out on foot and ran. Sullivan later caught Flagler in the woods and he was arrested without incident.

Seckinger was rushed to Atrium hospital with a broken back. He was released on Friday.

Flagler is charged with aggravated assault on an officer, felony fleeing, multiple traffic violations and misdemeanor and felony drug charges for marijuana. The Florida man will face charges in both Monroe and Bibb counties, said Freeman.

“He’s gonna be in jail so long he’ll qualify for in-state tuition,” said Freeman.

Deputies completely shutdown I-475 south as they worked the scene, causing traffic to back up past the Thomaston Road exit. 

Seckinger is now at home but will be out of work for several weeks recovering from injuries, said Freeman.