Concrete truck theft suspect kills himself in Columbia County jail
GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The suspect in last week’s theft of a concrete truck – followed by a chase across multiple counties – has committed suicide in jail.
According to deputies with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Erik Adam Bodie, 41, was found dead in his cell around 11 p.m. Friday after an apparent suicide. An autopsy for Bodie has been scheduled, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
He was one of two inmates who died Friday in the CSRA. Patrick Logan, 51, from Grovetown, died of apparent natural causes after collapsing in a booking area cell in Richmond County jail.
A report from deputies reveals how the theft of a concrete truck unfolded last Monday, leading to a pursuit through multiple counties before the vehicle was stopped.
In Columbia County, deputies said arrest warrants were issued for Bodie on charges of motor vehicle theft and fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer, while citations were issued on suspicion of reckless driving, fleeing and attempting to elude a police officer (mild) and disregarding a traffic control device. Jail records also show charges of theft by taking, aggravated assault, driving under the influence of alcohol and a license violation.
Bond was denied on three of the charges, and the self-employed business owner from Martinez remained in jail.
The truck carrying fresh concrete was stolen around 8:55 a.m. Monday at the Gas Pro at 4800 Columbia Road north of Grovetown, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
In an incident report released Tuesday morning, deputies said the driver of the vehicle – a 2021 Terex valued at $80,000 and owned by SRM Concrete - had left it parked at the curb. The driver left the truck running and with the keys in the ignition while he was purchasing items inside the gas station, according to deputies.
The driver – a 56-year-old man from Lincolnton – told deputies he was inside the store for less than three minutes, and the truck was gone when he came back out. He called 911 immediately.
When asked why he left the truck running, he said concrete mixers need to keep rotating or the fresh concrete will harden, according to deputies.
Two Columbia County deputies spotted the truck traveling west on Interstate 20 and signaled for it to stop, but it didn’t, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
The deputies chased after it, but the sheriff’s agency turned the chase over to the Georgia State Patrol.
A Grovetown-based trooper took up the chase at mile marker 183 in Columbia County, but the chase continued for three more counties.
Two troopers tried to use tire-puncturing devices to disable the concrete truck and bring the pursuit to an end, but they were unsuccessful, according to GSP.
Whether intentional or not, the truck dumped wet concrete on the highway near mile marker 175 in McDuffie County.
The truck exited I-20 at Georgia Highway 22 in Taliaferro County and continued north before re-entering westbound I-20, according to GSP.
Taliaferro County Sheriff Tia McWilliams said one of her deputies, Capt. Chris Treadwell, threw down more tire-puncturing devices at mile marker 148.
However, the pursuit continued, even though McWilliams said all passenger side tires were punctured.
A trooper riding in a passenger seat of another trooper’s patrol car eventually disabled the truck by firing rounds into its radiator and hydraulic tanks near mile marker 146.
The driver was taken into custody in Greene County near mile marker 141, according to authorities.
But the effects of the incident lingered much longer, thanks to the wet concrete that was dumped on I-20, closing westbound lanes for hours between White Oak Road near Appling and County and Cobbham Road near Thomson.
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