WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Department of Corrections is confirming two arrests in connection to the Thursday night high-speed chase and subsequent fatal crash into the Coosa River.
ADOC says both suspects were taken into custody Thursday night and are identified as Rufus Brown, 31, and Jonisha Jordan, 21, both of Montgomery. A third suspect, whose name has not yet been released, died in the vehicle after it crashed into the water and sank at Wetumpka’s Gold Star Park.
The arrests happened after an attempt to smuggle narcotics onto state prison property near the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka.
Brown and Jordan are charged with attempt to commit a controlled substance, first-degree possession of marijuana and endangering the welfare of a child. Additional charges are pending.
The incident started around 7:30 p.m. when ADOC agents observed the suspects parked in a vehicle on ADOC property. When the agents approached the suspects’ vehicle, the suspects fled the scene at a high rate of speed. The agents pursued the suspects to Gold Star Park where the vehicle crashed into the river.
Bystanders, who were at the park at the time of the incident, helped ADOC agents by jumping into the river and assisting with the recovery of Brown, Jordan and a two-year-old child who was in the vehicle. The body of the third suspect, identified only as a male, was recovered by divers late Thursday night.
The vehicle, a white sedan, was also pulled from the river.
Initial reports and eyewitnesses indicated there were a total of five people in the vehicle, but ADOC has since clarified that to state there were two males, one female, and a 2-year-old child involved.
“I want to thank the City of Wetumpka, local and county law enforcement, and all first responders for assisting our agents during their response to this incident,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn. “It’s unfortunate that the suspects were willing to place themselves and a child in danger during the commission of a crime for monetary gain.”