On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at approximately 7:08 p.m., Bartow County Sheriff’s Deputies were pursuing a gray Nissan Titan along Highway 53 traveling east in Gordon County. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, a Bartow County Deputy utilized the PIT maneuver to end the pursuit. The Nissan Titan, driven by Joshua T. Eaker, began to rotate counterclockwise and traveled off the north edge of the roadway and into a ditch at a very high rate of speed. The Nissan Titan struck an ATV which was traveling west in the ditch. The ATV’s operator, 48-year-old Dustin Cody Thomas of Calhoun, was fatally injured. After striking Thomas, the Nissan Titan came to a final rest, partially blocking the highway’s westbound lane. Eaker was booked into the Bartow County Jail and charged with one count of felony assault.  No Troopers or Deputies were injured during this crash.