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Deputies' cars crash in Operation Thunder

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 Two police cars involved in Operation Thunder crashed Friday night on Interstate 20 westbound near Jimmie Dyess Parkway, backing up traffic on the interstate.

About 7:35 p.m., vehicles belonging to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and the Habersham County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Office wrecked, according to a news release.

A Richmond County deputy, whose name was not released, was taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Operation Thunder is a 90-day state crackdown on DUI, safety belt and speeding violations.

The operation began in Richmond County on Feb. 14.

Less than a month into the crackdown, officers have written hundreds of citations and made numerous arrests, but officials said Friday that writing citations is not the ultimate goal.

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Ramone Lamkin said the goal of Operation Thunder is to see 100 percent compliance. Local officials hope the operation will increase motorist safety by creating better and safer driving habits.

Last year, 44 people died on Richmond County roads, up from 35 in 2011.

Operation Thunder, begun by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in 2007, concentrates patrols along interstates, state routes and rural roads for 90 days.

The task force generally deploys a combined safety belt, speed and DUI enforcement mobilization with local law enforcement.

On the first day of enforcement, the task force wrote 140 citations and made arrests for drunken driving and narcotics possession.

Police say the public has responded positively to the operation by offering support and asking officers to conduct checks in particular areas.

“Every time we’ve been out, we’ve gotten a lot of positive response,” Lamkin said.

Comments (23) Add comment
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Riverman1
93722
Points
Riverman1 03/01/13 - 05:31 pm
8
2
It appears the State Patrol

It appears the State Patrol and Richmond County are running a worthwhile combined operation. Kudos.

Austin Rhodes
2989
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/01/13 - 07:42 pm
6
7
Not a good idea...

...to go real fast, bumper to bumper on I-20.

Operation Thunder just crashed into itself.

Hope everyone is going to be okay...BUT SLOW DOWN.

dstewartsr
20393
Points
dstewartsr 03/01/13 - 08:03 pm
7
3
It would be slightly more credible

... if the public were saying it's supportive rather than Roundtree's PR flack. Of course, why would he lie?

Dixieman
17403
Points
Dixieman 03/01/13 - 10:24 pm
11
2
2000000 POINTS

Westbound Traffic on I-20 at Washington Road (5 miles from accident) backed up and at a total standstill at 9:15 p.m.
I blame the sequestration.

galaxygrl
1350
Points
galaxygrl 03/01/13 - 10:36 pm
8
2
Rumor

I was told they would be at Riverwatch and Washington tonight, Greene and John C Calhoun, Washington and John C Calhoun. So if you want to get into Augusta for First Friday tonight you should take Gordon Hwy or one of the North Augusta Bridges to downtown tonight.This is scheduled until 4am. This should do wonders for revenue downtown.
I can't wait to see what they do during Master's. This could be a revenue record for the state and the county. Think of all the international visitors that will get to come back later in the year for another visit to Augusta. Too bad they won't have time to play golf.

member
67
Points
member 03/01/13 - 10:49 pm
5
2
I was on I-20 when this was

I was on I-20 when this was going on and I am amazed they only had one wreck.

showboat
369
Points
showboat 03/01/13 - 11:10 pm
0
2
THESE CARS THAT ARE IN
Unpublished

THESE CARS THAT ARE IN OPERATION THUNDER ARE DRIVEING LIKE THEY ARE CRAZY! SAW A CAR FLYING DOWN GORDON HWY WITH NO BLUE LIGHT, ROUNDTREE SLOW YOUR CARS DOWN!!!!!

Little Lamb
49079
Points
Little Lamb 03/01/13 - 11:53 pm
9
0
There's no use in being a lawman . . .

. . . if you can't drive fast!

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/02/13 - 07:36 am
6
1
Wish we'd see some of these

Wish we'd see some of these officers on Hwy 56 between Brown Road and Tobacco Road between 3pm and 6pm during the weekday. I guarantee they'd have plenty of tickets to write.

Guntoter 2
92
Points
Guntoter 2 03/02/13 - 07:40 am
1
0
Wow!! with all the problems
Unpublished

Wow!! with all the problems in Macongo..Bibb County can find time to be in Richmond County SMDH!

nocnoc
49162
Points
nocnoc 03/02/13 - 08:40 am
4
2
The Irony is always waiting around the corner.

Operation Thunder is to slow down traffic, arrest DUI drivers and reduce Accidents. So we have an accident, that only involves two
Law Enforcement Officers and from different counties and 1 from Habersham County 200 miles away no less.

Since a person was injured, an RCSO deputy, I would like to know who was cited as at fault?

Best wishes and speedy recovery to the RCSO Deputy.

Riverman1
93722
Points
Riverman1 03/02/13 - 08:19 am
4
1
What's the Habersham County

What's the Habersham County car doing in all this?

nocnoc
49162
Points
nocnoc 03/02/13 - 08:39 am
6
1
About the 44 people who died on Richmond County roads,

It is no longer a hidden dirty little secret that GA-56 is the location of most of the deaths in Richmond Co. The AC published
an article a few months ago verifying this fact.

In fact we had another BAD accident by Old Waynesboro Rd and
GA-56 last night around 6:30pm.

While running a very justified speed trap on I-20, I-520 and Gordon Hwy gets the word out, and allows for safe pull overs for ticketing. It does not address the kill zone on GA-56 between Tobacco Rd. and Brown Rd.

When you see a 100+ft long skid mark made by a logging truck approaching a known bus stop it will dawn on you,why we ask for the additional enforcement?

bluelight
28
Points
bluelight 03/02/13 - 08:28 am
5
1
Professionalism

Kudos to all of the officers involved in this task force! However, looking at the photos, the professional look seems to have vanished with the local sheriff's office, and others. What happened to the head gear? The Georgia State Patrol certainly maintains a professional appearance.

itsanotherday1
48334
Points
itsanotherday1 03/02/13 - 08:35 am
6
3
Yep, when they put on that

Yep, when they put on that "Smokey" hat, it gives them a certain bearing of authority.

Why no details on the accident? What led up to it, who hit who and how, etc.?

The Machines Are Coming
8
Points
The Machines Are Coming 03/02/13 - 09:05 am
5
1
GET EVERYONE OFF THE ROAD

We need robot cars and robot cops NOW. No hurt cops no hurt drivers. That way the cops can be the average friendly Andy Griffin type. :0)

Sweet son
11649
Points
Sweet son 03/02/13 - 11:34 am
1
2
Riverman and nonoc.

I too was curious as to why a Habersham Deputy was so far from home. Maybe the AC can get Lamkin to explain. Heck maybe a RC Deputy was in Habersham last night as some sort of swap.

deloraruth
7
Points
deloraruth 03/02/13 - 11:50 am
3
0
Wish they would

post themselves at intersections and ticket the drivers that run red lights. Its bad. At least 2 to 3 cars per red light all the time. Its a wonder more people aren't killed in Columbia County/Richmond County intersections.

albertoli
191
Points
albertoli 03/02/13 - 12:23 pm
4
0
Where is the outrage over the

Where is the outrage over the deaths caused by speeders? Is this something that we accept as a society?
Ignorant people speed. Speeders should lose their licenses, not only for speeding, but also for being stupid. Do the math. For example: If you travel from the beginning of Washinton Road at the end of Calhoun Expressway and you travel to Washington Road and Bobby Jones with no red lights, and it is 15 miles, then it would take you 20 minutes at 45 mph, 18 minutes at 50 mph, and 16.36 minutes at 55 mph. Is this worth risking other peoples lives? This is even more dramatically stupid in shorter distances. When you see this behavior you can immediately assume that the driver is ignorant.

This holds for the police, too, unless it is a matter of seconds saving someone's life.

thauch12
7076
Points
thauch12 03/02/13 - 12:34 pm
1
3
Hooray revenue!

Looks like our Richmond County government will be getting a nice little pay day over the next three months.

Slow down people, it isn't worth having to deal with the oh so wonderful RCSD traffic patrol or the clowns in traffic court...

rational thought trumps emotion
2682
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 03/02/13 - 12:40 pm
3
0
ICL & RM

They worked HWY 56 last night for several hours. Agencies that are issued traffic grants from the state participate all over GA along with the Georgia State Patrol and the agency located where most problems are occurring. In exchange they receive a few patrol cars, officer salaries and all other expenses covered by the state during the 2 or 3 year grant period. When the state brings an operation to an area like RC because of all of the deaths here, those officers paid by the grant come in and help from all over and their expenses are all covered by the state. This isn’t something new to GA as they have been doing this for years based on the needs of local counties.

Little Lamb
49079
Points
Little Lamb 03/02/13 - 01:24 pm
1
0
Fine Money

I'm assuming that all the fine money stays in the county where the tickets were issued. By the way, the sheriff's department does not get to keep the fine money — instead, it goes into the general fund of the local government where the ticket was issued. That's to keep the local law enforcement from abusing their ticketing power.

AutumnLeaves
10258
Points
AutumnLeaves 03/02/13 - 03:39 pm
1
2
Tinted windows and filtered tags

I wish they would pull people over for tinted windows over the legal tint limit and those tag-obscuring filters. The tag filters serve no useful purpose except to make the vehicle difficult to identify, so just having one on your car should be considered suspicious behavior.

ashamedofaug
2
Points
ashamedofaug 03/02/13 - 05:15 pm
0
0
Why isn't Columbia County SO joining in?

Please CCSD set up some road block in the Ivy Falls subdivision during this operation Thunder. Either on Few Parkway coming in to Ivy Falls or on Columbia Rd. especially after 8 p.m.! The speed limit is posted at 30 but some child is going to get hurt with the way cars are speeding by. Cars turning into the duplexes in Ivy Falls near Grovetown High School are flying. I believe speeder thinks they are driving for NASCAR!

Sweet son
11649
Points
Sweet son 03/02/13 - 06:11 pm
0
0
State Grants sound like free money! Not!

If it is State money it is not free for all of us who pay taxes! We need to just challenge the newly appointed Lt. of traffic for RCSO to use his resources to do the prescribed job!!!!!

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