Heart transplant recipient Anthony Stokes dies in police chase, crash

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ROSWELL, Ga. - Police say a burglary suspect being chased by police struck a pedestrian and then crashed his car.

Police say the man first carjacked a Honda from Perimeter Mall, then shot at an elderly woman during an attempted burglary on Alpine Drive in Roswell Tuesday afternoon.

They said the driver died Tuesday night. 

Police identified him as 17-year-old Anthony Stokes of Decatur. 

Stokes gained national attention when he was denied a heart transplant because of “a history of non-compliance.” He talked to Channel 2 Action News about his journey in 2013. 

They said the pedestrian who was struck is Clementina Hernandez, 33, of Roswell.

“A lady said a person kicked in the door to break into the house. She was inside the living room and saw the suspect, who was wearing a mask,” said Lisa Holland, with the Roswell Police Department.

The suspect then took off. Police said a short time later, an officer saw the suspect and began to chase him down Alpharetta Highway.

“I couldn't believe that I was seeing something like that. I usually only see it on TV,” said witness Brett Dudley.

Dudley took cellphone video of the chase as the car lost control and then crashed into the pole in front of a SunTrust Bank at Hembree Road and Highway 9.

"He did a fishtail spin going around to the right and hit a pedestrian. I saw a white shirt fly up in the air,” said witness Claudia Kuklis.

That white shirt belonged to a woman who police say was walking along Hembree Road when the suspect came barreling through.

Hernandez was taken to North Fulton Hospital. She is stable in good condition.

Crews had to cut Stokes from his car, which was nearly cut in half by the pole. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died.

Channel 2’s Jovita Moore talked with Stokes in 2013. He told her the heart transplant would help straighten out his life.

“So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do,” Stokes said.