Intern helped friends before fatal collision

A governor's aide from Augusta was helping friends as a designated driver early Saturday when he was killed by another motorist now charged with DUI.


Co-workers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Jordan Griner, 24, an intern for Gov. Sonny Perdue, had just dropped off his last friend at 4 a.m. when his vehicle was struck by a woman police say was drunk.

Griner and his friends had been celebrating both the end of their six-month government fellowships and Griner's selection for another fellowship with the state's chief financial officer.

"He volunteered to be the designated driver ... make sure everybody got home safe," Patrick Smith, the last friend Griner dropped off before heading home, told the Atlanta newspaper. "I thanked him for being a safe driver, for driving me home," Smith said. "And then he drove two blocks farther and was killed."

Griner was not far from his Atlanta apartment when, police say, Christa Scott, 26, of Newnan, Ga., ran a red light, striking his car. Scott had a blood-alcohol level of 0.229, police said. The legal limit in Georgia is 0.08.

Scott was taken to the Fulton County Jail and charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, DUI and reckless driving.

Perdue released a statement late Saturday, saying: "Jordan Griner excelled in a variety of roles over the past few months, and our entire Governor's Office family will deeply miss his enthusiastic smile, joyful personality and willingness to help others. He was loved by both staff and his fellow interns, and Mary and I are deeply saddened by this sudden loss."

Griner was a 2004 graduate of Cross Creek High School and graduated in 2008 from the University of Georgia, where he served on the Judiciary Committee. He served in the Office of the Governor in Constituent Services, working directly with Perdue in numerous capacities.

The family will receive friends today and Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Elliott Sons Funeral Home, 2524 Lumpkin Road.

The funeral will be 3 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with Rabbi Don Lansing officiating. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20037 in his memory.


Jordan Griner obituary