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Kidnapped Toddler Injured in Fiery Crash After High-Speed Chase Across State Lines

A South Carolina dad assaulted his toddler’s mother and then took the 3-year-old child south into Georgia before crashing his car during a high-speed chase with deputies on Interstate 85.

Anderson County, South Carolina, deputies pulled the toddler from the car after it burst into flames following the crash about 14 miles inside Georgia in Franklin County. Medics airlifted the child to a trauma center, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office said.

The kidnapper was taken into custody by Georgia law enforcement. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash.

Anderson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Shale Remein told WYFF that deputies responded to a home in Belton and learned of the assault and kidnapping.

“Anderson County deputies were attempting to locate the vehicle along I-85 when they spotted the suspect and the child,” Remein said. “As deputies attempted to position themselves to surround and stop the suspect, the vehicle quickly crossed over into Georgia.”

Authorities in Georgia joined in the pursuit, she said. The kidnapper crashed at the Carnesville/Toccoa exit.

“Without hesitation, Anderson County deputies pulled the child from the burning car, and he was quickly airlifted to a nearby trauma center,” Remein said.

An Anderson County deputy was treated at AnMed Medical Center for hand burns and has been released. The child’s condition is not known.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as Joshua Dornellas, 32, WNEG reported. He has been booked on multiple charges, the station said.