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Oconee County deputy avoids serious injury in hit-and-run collision caused by tractor trailer

By Joe Johnson

An Oconee County sheriff’ deputy Monday morning avoided serious injury when a tractor-trailer forced a car off of a highway and into the side of the deputy’s car.

The driver of the 18-wheeler did not stop and left the scene.

Deputy Kenji Dorsey was conducting speed detection on the side of U.S. Highway 441 at about 8:20 a.m., when a northbound tractor trailer was passing a car in the left lane and then swerved back into the right lane and forced the car off the road and into the left-front quarter panel of Dorsey’s patrol car that was parked perpendicular to the highway just south of the Experiment Station Road exit, according to Sgt. First Class Tim Myer, commanding officer of Georgia State Patrol Post 32 in Athens.

Myer said that the deputy “appeared to be more shaken up than anything” and was taken to an urgent care clinic to be checked out. However, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said one of Dorsey’s thumbs was broken in the crash.

The driver of the car that struck Dorsey’s vehicle and her 11-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries from air bag deployments, according to Myer, who said they were transported by National EMS to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center where they were treated and released.

According to Myer, the collision happened just north of New High Shoals Road, where 441 opens up from two to four lanes.

He speculated that the tractor trailer was speeding when passing the car, and upon seeing the deputy’s vehicle the driver swerved back into the right lane in an attempt to slow down. Myer said it is common for motorists to speed on that stretch of roadway.

A witness to the incident described the big rig as an 18-wheeler with a white cab and a white trailer that possibly displayed the letters SYARN, the trooper said.  The witness, who stopped to help the victims, was unable to obtain a tag number, Myer said.

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