Carrollton cab driver speaks only to CBS46 about carjacking - CBS46 News

Carrollton cab driver speaks only to CBS46 about carjacking that led to chase

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Rodney Dewayne Smith appeared in a Carroll County courtroom Wednesday for the first time since his arrest Tuesday.

Police say Smith and Kimberly Rachel Dugger carjacked Allen "Big Al" Lagere, a taxi driver in Carrollton.

Lagere said it all started when he went to pick up Smith and Dugger at their home which was on fire at the time.

"They had the child between them and they waved to me and I waited and they got into the cab," Lagere said. "I said 'you didn't tell me your neighbor's house is burning,' and he said ‘no, that is ours.'"

Smith said things started to get dangerous when Dugger demanded his money at
a local McDonald's.

"Then she said it again a little louder with a little cussing added to it and he was trying to reach into my pockets, which I found strange, and I pushed [his] hands away and said 'what the h--- are you doing?' When I turned around she had a gun next to my temple," Lagere said.

After forcing the driver out of the vehicle, Smith, Dugger and Dugger's 4-year-old took off on Interstate 20, leading authorities on a high-speed chase that reached speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour, according to police.

"No van is made to do that kind of speed. They are lucky they stayed on the road at 50 mph let alone 100," said Lagere.

The chase finally ended near Exit 206 in Heflin, AL, when police said Smith lost control and hit a tree. All three people in the vehicle were rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Lagere said he is thankful he's still alive.

"God has a funny way making things come around," Lagere said.

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