Skip to comments.One hospitalized after collision with Varnell police car
Posted on 05/23/2014 3:33:53 PM PDT by GrootheWanderer
A two-vehicle wreck involving a Varnell police officer Wednesday evening resulted in one man being airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga.
The wreck happened in front of North Whitfield Middle School on Cleveland Highway and involved a Varnell patrol car driven by an officer identified by officials as Patrick Hayes and a Jeep Cherokee, according to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) public information office. The driver of the Cherokee, David Gambrell, was not wearing his seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle. No further information was available late Thursday.
Varnell Police Chief Lyle Grant said both vehicles were traveling at low rate of speed and collided when the officer tried to make a turn. He referred all other questions to the GSP, which is investigating.
Varnell Mayor Anthony Hulsey, who is a GSP trooper, said he did not know the details of the accident and was waiting on a report from the GSP. Mayor Pro Tem Jan Pourquoi also said he did not know the details of the accident but had gone to City Hall Thursday to show his support for the department.
This is the second accident involving the Varnell Police Department in recent years.
Former Varnell police officer James Smith pleaded guilty in July 2013 to first degree vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Smith was driving his patrol car at 104 mph on Cleveland Highway when he collided with a Dodge Neon driven by 70-year-old Leon Thurman, killing Thurman.
Smith was sentenced to 10 years of probation, a $2,500 fine, 300 hours of community service and a lifetime ban on working in law enforcement.
It's not that easy to eject someone from the vehicle if it travels at a truly low rate of speed. As it is uncommon for a driver to fly through one of side doors, one has to suspect that he left through the windshield. That means that his car was moving fast enough, and then suddenly stopped.
collided when the officer tried to make a turn.
The car would definitely stop if the officer made a right or left turn from the middle lane(s). As an initial guess, anyone who is turning is more guilty than the one who drives straight and at constant speed. Probably the LEO did not notice the car in the adjacent lane and cut it off. That's why you are supposed to check the mirrors and then look over your shoulder.
Awfully oblique language, there. That always makes me suspicious. Low speed collisions do not eject passengers or anything else through the windshield. That takes a pretty firm impact. Somebody doesn’t want to admit to speeding. If it was the other driver, the police would not be shy about pointing that out. And apparently in a school zone.
I had a head on collusion around 40 miles a hour and was not wearing a seatbelt and I wasn’t thrown from the car.
I did bounce my head off the top of the car and now wear my seatbelt.
Go look at the FB comments about this from the local news stations. Whole other story...