Skip to content

Chambers deputy killed in crash

HICKORY FLAT – A Chambers County Sheriff’s Department deputy was killed on Monday afternoon while assisting Roanoke Police Department in the pursuit of a suspect.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., Roanoke Police officers attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding. The suspect drove into Chambers County.

Roanoke contacted Chambers County Sheriff’s Department for assistance. The suspect turned onto Chambers County Road 278 (LaGrange road). Chambers County spiked the suspect’s vehicle and the suspect was apprehended at the intersection of Chambers County Road 278 and Chambers County Road 288 (Georgia state line) at 3:39 p.m.

Chambers Deputy J’Mar Abel, 24, of Auburn was driving his assigned patrol vehicle, a 2017 Ford Explorer, when the vehicle left the roadway, struck a ditch and overturned on County Road 278 in the Hickory Flat area. A lieutenant from RPD found Abel’s wrecked vehicle.

The lieutenant and two citizens were able to free Abel from his vehicle. Abel was transported to WellStar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange, where he was pronounced deceased. The accident occurred on Abel’s second anniversary with Chambers County.

Chambers County Sheriff Sid Lockhart said, “Please keep Deputy Abel’s family and friends, as well as his brothers and sisters of the sheriff’s office, in your thoughts and prayers.”

The suspect was identified as Brandon Dwight Rowe, 37, of 66 Circle Dr., Twin Lakes, Roanoke. The pursuit of Rowe began when he would not stop for police in his 2006 Buick Rendezvous when he was speeding on LaFayette Highway. Instead he sped up and turned onto Field Street on the wrong side of the street. He then ran the stop sign at the intersection of Field Street and U.S. 431 South (in front of Sunny’s). Rowe began driving more recklessly, passing multiple vehicles.

He turned right onto Chambers County Road 248 and then left onto Chambers County Road 241 and ran the stop sign at the intersection of U.S. 431 and Chambers 241.

The Roanoke police met a Chambers County deputy on County Road 278. The dispatcher informed them that Chambers County had set up spike strips to stop the suspect’s car.

Once his car was disabled because of the spike strips, Rowe told officers he ran because he had warrants. He had two active warrants in Randolph County for first-degree receiving stolen property. However, narcotics were also located in his vehicle. Rowe is charged with attempting to elude, first-degree possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of an imitation controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Rowe was transported to Randolph County Jail.

State Attorney Gen. Steve Marshall said, “Deputy Sheriff Abel is the seventh Alabama law enforcement officer to perish in the line of duty this year, giving his all to fulfill his oath to protect and serve the public. His loss reminds us of the sacrifice that our law enforcement heroes make for us every day. We can never repay them.”

Abel is survived by his fiance, Jasmine Gaddist of Auburn, and his father, Martin Abel of Rainbow City.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) continues the investigation and more charges against Rowe could be pending.

J’Mar Abel

Leave a Comment