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Drone asssts in arrest of hit-and-run driver in Athens

By Joe Johnson

Police use drones for many reasons, such as surveillance, reconnaissance, and searching for missing persons.

On Tuesday one of the flying machines reportedly assisted in the arrest of an alleged drunk driver who was involved in a hit-and-run accident that occurred in Athens.

According to an Athens-Clarke County police report, 34-year-old Jacqelyn Nicole Ross of Hull struck an unoccupied vehicle with her Mercedes Benz in the Park & Ride lot at 1330 Oconee St. then fled the scene.

The accident was witnessed by an off-duty police officer who was operating an ACCPD drone for another incident when the hit-and-run was reported, according to the report.

The officer used the drone to follow the movements of the offender’s car, which led another officer to locate and follow Ross’ car, which the report noted failed to maintain lane and nearly struck a curb before the officer conducted a traffic stop as the car was entering Shoal Creek Apartments on Barnett Shoals Road, according to the report.

The officer who conducted the stop noted in a report that Ross, the driver, had an odor of alcohol beverage on her breath, failed roadside sobriety tests, and he arrested her for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

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