Georgia Sheriff’s Deputy Causes Car Accident, Injures Passengers

When people hear that a police officer is at the scene of a car accident involving suspicions of drunk driving, often they picture the officer as assisting those who were in the accident. After all, many times officers are called to these scenes which can be very traumatizing. However, in one Georgia car accident, the driver who was allegedly intoxicated was a sheriff’s deputy and was in a patrol car.

The accident happened when an off-duty sheriff’s deputy ran his patrol car off Georgia 81 early one morning and struck an embankment. The car rolled over several times. When emergency responders arrived at the scene, they found a woman who had been a passenger in the vehicle wandering around near the scene of the accident. She had reportedly been injured. The sheriff’s deputy, who had driving the vehicle, had left the scene and had gone back to his house.

Fortunately, the injured woman was able to be transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. The driver, on the other hand, only sustained minor injuries. He was arrested and several charges were filed against him, including a DUI charge, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to maintain lane and also a charge of having an open container of alcohol. It was not reported why the woman was in the vehicle at the time.

Nobody should ever drive while intoxicated, and this is especially true for a police officer. As the facts in this case get cleared up, the woman who was injured in the car accident may elect to file a personal injury claim against the driver as well as his employer. This type of lawsuit is permissible under Georgia law and must be based on evidence of negligence. If the woman can prove that her injuries resulted from the negligent actions of the police officer, she may be entitled to an award of monetary damages for her medical bills and other expenses she incurred as a result of the frightening crash. If you have been involved in a car accident or know someone who has due to drunk driving, it could help to contact a personal injury lawyer for some recompense.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Gwinnett deputy charged with DUI after wrecking patrol car,” Mike Morris, Oct. 3, 2012

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