Dalton man killed in crash on Hwy 286 while chasing suspect who had just stolen his truck in Whitfield Co.

Updated preliminary information from the Georgia State Patrol, On Monday, April 24, 2023, at 4:25 am, Troopers from Post 43 Calhoun responded to a two-vehicle crash on GA 286 at Fuller Chapel Road in Murray County. According to Georgia State Patrol, a 1995 Ford Rollback tow truck and a 2005 Dodge Ram pickup crashed on GA 286 at Fuller Chapel Road. According to the Georgia State Patrol, Kenneth Lee Hawkins, 31, of Dalton, interrupted his tow truck being stolen in the early morning hours from his home in Whitfield County. Hawkins, who was driving the Dodge Ram, chased his stolen tow truck being driven by Steven Oneal Taylor, 47, of Toccoa, GA. Hawkins was killed in the crash and was pronounced deceased on the scene. Taylor was seriously injured and flown by Life Force to Erlanger. The Georgia State Patrol Troop A Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team, is investigating. Murray County Sheriff Jimmy Davenport advises that both the Murray County Sheriff’s Office and the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office are assisting GSP in a criminal investigation of the crash, and charges are pending. According to Georgia Department of Corrections records, Taylor who has very lengthy criminal history was just recently released after being convicted of statutory rape in 2011 and sentenced to 12 years. In 2010 he was convicted of felony theft charges. According to his obituary, “Kenneth never met a stranger and would go above and beyond to help anyone in need. He loved working on lawn mowers and anything mechanical. He won blue ribbons in 4H for mechanical technology. He graduated from the Career Academy in 2010 and studied Automotive Technology at GNTC. He started working at Brooker Ford while he was still in high school, he worked there for several years before he went to work in the family Auto Business doing mechanical work. Kenneth has numerous awards, medals and certifications, is ASE certified. He currently operated his own garage known as Blue Oval Automotive and Performance. A lot of people know Kenneth as “The Mustang Man”.”

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