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Deputy in Operation Thunder crash will take driving class

Operation Thunder cites 309, arrests 65 over the weekend

Monday, March 4, 2013 10:57 AM
Last updated Tuesday, March 5, 2013 12:18 AM
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A Richmond County deputy involved in a crash with a Habersham County (Ga.) deputy while traveling to an Operation Thunder checkpoint will have to take a remedial driving course as part of department policy.

According to Georgia State Patrol Spokesman Gordy Wright, sheriff’s Deputy Eard Trimmingham was heading west on Interstate 20, near mile marker 199, behind Habersham County sheriff’s Deputy B.D. Loudermilk when the crash occurred around 7:30 p.m. Wright said Trimmingham, who has been with the department since 2009, hit the left rear of Loudermilk’s Dodge Charger with the right front of his Ford Police Interceptor.

Both deputies had their sirens and flashing lights on at the time of the crash.

Loudermilk, 21, was treated at the scene. Trimmingham, 46, was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center for ligament damage and possible shoulder injuries.

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said crashes involving deputies used to go before the sheriff’s review board, but policy changes have eliminated that.

He said the crash will likely be deferred to Fleet Management. If a deputy is found at fault he could face paying a percentage of the damage to repair the vehicles.

The deputy will also be required to retake a driving course.

The crash occurred as deputies conducted Operation Thunder, a 90-day high-visibility campaign to cut down on driving violations.

Although the operation is conducted through the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, deputies from around the state and troopers with the Georgia State Patrol assist in the crackdown.

Chew said Loudermilk was one of the visiting deputies assisting in the campaign.

The operation began in Richmond County on Feb. 14 after a year of record-breaking fatalities on Richmond County roads. Forty-four people died last year, up from 35 in 2011.

Since the operation started, officers have written hundreds of citations and made numerous arrests. Officials said they hope the operation will help instill safer driving habits in Augusta drivers.

Deputies on Friday set up road checkpoints on Georgia Highway 56 near the county line, in the 3700 block of Walton Way Extension and on River Watch Parkway at Alexander Drive. On Saturday, they stationed checkpoints on Old Waynesboro Road and Brown Road, Tobacco Road and Gordon Highway at Hollaway Drive.

Sgt. Scott Redmon said deputies will alternate the location of road blocks so they cover all areas of the county, including problem areas and where people might not expect them.

OPERATION THUNDER WEEKEND STATISTICS

FRIDAY

7 seat belt

20 child restraint

1 speeding

3 uninsured drivers

16 suspended license

65 other

23 DUI arrests

11 drug arrests

1 felony arrest

SATURDAY

21 seat belt

23 child restraint

4 speeding

7 uninsured drivers

13 suspended license

83 other

22 DUI arrests

8 drug arrests

3 felony arrests

3 fugitives apprehended

Source: Richmond County Sheriff’s Office

Comments (29) Add comment
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itsanotherday1
41408
Points
itsanotherday1 03/04/13 - 09:14 pm
8
0
How are people still driving

How are people still driving uninsured? You must have coverage to get a tag, then if you drop it the state is notified and the GSP comes for your license. (Edit: in other words, the system isn't working)

Glad to see the felony arrests, suspended licenses, etc., too.

MarinerMan
2107
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MarinerMan 03/04/13 - 01:16 pm
7
0
Who of the two deputies that
Unpublished

Who of the two deputies that crashed into each other, got a ticket, and which number did that get added into ? : - ) I'm guessing "Other" ??

showboat
330
Points
showboat 03/04/13 - 01:23 pm
0
0
Why don't set up more road
Unpublished

Why don't they set up more road blocks in west augusta, washington road, they could write 100 DUI tickets in 10 mins.

Cynical old woman
1090
Points
Cynical old woman 03/04/13 - 02:56 pm
5
1
And one

Keystone cops wreck!

Dudeness
1543
Points
Dudeness 03/04/13 - 05:08 pm
5
0
What will be the penalty for

What will be the penalty for the deputy driving without a seatbelt?

grinder48
1846
Points
grinder48 03/04/13 - 06:02 pm
0
1
Poor reporting
Unpublished

Wish article had been more specific on exactly what happened ... more poor reporting ...

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 03/04/13 - 06:28 pm
6
0
By the way, the operation

By the way, the operation will be going over Masters Week.

GiantsAllDay
9279
Points
GiantsAllDay 03/04/13 - 06:40 pm
4
0
A DUI attorney has to be the

A DUI attorney has to be the best job in the world. CSRA DUI attorneys should kick back some $$$ to law enforcement. I'm thinking buy the cops some bullet proof vests, uniforms--any kind of special gear that the officer has to pay out of his or her pocket. Lawyers, it's the very least you could do.

CobaltGeorge
153321
Points
CobaltGeorge 03/04/13 - 07:17 pm
4
0
Just Wondering Why

No Cell phone stuck in ear violation

or

steering wheel texting driving violation

or maybe not against the LAW!

rebellious
20514
Points
rebellious 03/04/13 - 08:34 pm
7
0
Doctor

heal thyself! There is no such thing as an auto wreck without fault. So....as requested before, I expect to see failure to maintain lane on one or both drivers. Or are they "above the law"?

A fish rots from the head down. Ooohh that smell.....

jmo
15076
Points
jmo 03/04/13 - 09:04 pm
7
0
He's writing tickets

for not wearing seat belts and he's not wearing one. What's wrong with this picture?

thauch12
6383
Points
thauch12 03/04/13 - 09:33 pm
4
3
Of course, he's above the

Of course, he's above the law, folks. That's how it works! If you're one of these great "law enforcement offices" (or just happen to have the little black/blue sticker), traffic laws simply don't apply to you!

fatboyhog
1885
Points
fatboyhog 03/04/13 - 10:37 pm
4
2
No seatbelt?

Maybe I can't read well anymore, but where is written that the Deputy was not wearing a seatbelt? How is the Deputy "above the law, folks"? Care to quantify that remark, thauch12? The "little black/blue sticker" doesn't mean squat. It certainly doesn't stop me from stopping someone or writing a ticket if necessary. And, when officers start writing a citation EVERY SINGLE AT FAULT driver in a wreck, then maybe you can gripe that officers are "above the law." You do know that at fault drivers aren't automatically written a ticket, right thauch12? So, how are officers "above the law?"

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/04/13 - 11:45 pm
4
1
The officer was not wearing his seatbelt...

...as I read today from the report. Happy to email that to you if you need it. BTW...when did the policy change so that officers do not have to go before a review board after an accident?

deerkiller
24
Points
deerkiller 03/05/13 - 12:13 am
2
1
So sorry

I had my last comment removed because i hurt someones feelings ..So sorry , you sit here and bash the police when the only two things you call on when it hits the fan, is God and the police . I hope you remember that the next time you need them...Rebellious the correct charge is following too close , not failure to maintain lane and for EVERYONE'S information...The Police and the mail man are exempt by law form wearing a seat belt , RCSO requires them to wear it per policy, but from the states point of view they don't have to....Austin that policy changed when the new sheriff took office .

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/05/13 - 12:25 am
5
2
There were a number of policies not being followed...

...and I think that a deputy traveling on I-20 should be required to wear that seat belt. If that is the law (that they don't) it should be changed.

One thing is sure...they had no reason to be running lights and sirens when they were in that convoy.

As far as anyone "bashing" the police...most of us hold them in far greater esteem than the rest of the general population...so naturally, we expect far better and smarter behavior. Most of the time, we are not disappointed.

OH...and is it just me, or is Sheriff Roundtree removing many of the policies, reviews, and a few of the personnel...that gave him all his problems through the years?

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 03/05/13 - 05:05 am
0
0
so if am driving in excess of
Unpublished

so if am driving in excess of the speed limit and rear end someone and not wearing my seat belt, is the only thing I have to do is go to a driving course??? yea right !!!!

InChristLove
22452
Points
InChristLove 03/05/13 - 07:35 am
4
0
"As far as anyone "bashing"

"As far as anyone "bashing" the police...most of us hold them in far greater esteem than the rest of the general population."

Sure can't tell it from the post I've read so far (IMO).

Beachgal
357
Points
Beachgal 03/05/13 - 08:29 am
2
0
RE: "How are people still driving uninsured?"

Itsanotherday1 - I'm thinking that the 3 uninsured drivers are amongst the suspended license crowd.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 03/05/13 - 08:41 am
3
0
I recall there was a

I recall there was a citizens review board for the RCSO that was discontinued at Ronnie Strength's direction several years ago.

Little Lamb
44907
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/13 - 09:02 am
6
0
Seat Belt

I saw Lewis Blanchard on Channel 6 News last night, in uniform and speaking for the department. He said that on-duty law enforcement officers are exempted from the law requiring seat belts when driving. Then he cited a couple of reasons why. One was that it is more difficult to draw your weapon when strapped in with a seat belt.

Here's the link to Jillian Benfield's story.

By the way, Jillian Benfield is my favorite reporter.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 03/05/13 - 09:11 am
4
0
LL, I knew law enforcement is

LL, I knew law enforcement is exempt from the seat belt law by state law and once had an in depth exchange on the boards about the matter. Blanchard's assertion that it is more difficult to draw your weapon while using a seat belt reminds me of western movies where the cowboy shot while riding his horse. Still, they are exempt by law.

Little Lamb
44907
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/13 - 09:24 am
2
0
Policy

From the story:

Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said crashes involving deputies used to go before the sheriff’s review board, but policy changes have eliminated that. He said the crash will likely be deferred to Fleet Management.

Then, Austin Rhodes asked:

BTW...when did the policy change so that officers do not have to go before a review board after an accident?

I don't know, but if I had to guess I would say somewhere around March 2, 2013. You can tell they haven't put a new policy in place by Chew's statement that they're still trying to figure out where to send the matter. Note the use of that word, "likely," in Chew's statement.

Watermedic
292
Points
Watermedic 03/05/13 - 09:54 am
3
0
The real issue

Yes law enforcement are exempt from seat belt usage.

If they were travelling from one checkpoint to another, why did they have lights and sirens on? If he hit the left rear of the car in front of him with the right front of his car maybe a little friendly racing was going on.

I would like to know at what speed this happened.

Adam Bomb
357
Points
Adam Bomb 03/05/13 - 10:00 am
4
0
Is this operation a good thing?

Yesterday just after lunch I had a green light to exit my subdivision and was halfway into my left turn when a patrol car on it's way to setup a roadblock blew through the red light and almost crashed into me. He didn't stop, blow his horn or anything but speed away. Guess the almighty ticket dollar is more important than taxpayer safety. I kind of wish he would have hit me so I could be on that billionaire's list.

rebellious
20514
Points
rebellious 03/05/13 - 10:10 am
2
0
DeerKiller

My point is when an officer of the law2 breaks the law, he should be ticketed, charged or whatever mechanism the rest of society would receive. When this does not happen, it reeks of being "above the law".

I have the highest regard for Law Enforcement and the risks they take. As in any profession, some wear the badge with humility and dispatch justice with a dose of human understanding. Others, not so much.

As far as depending on them for protection, where I live response time is probably 15 minutes. So I have gap insurance. You know, a dog that barks in my hand and bites way over yonder. The Deputies can write the report.

Riverman1
81439
Points
Riverman1 03/05/13 - 10:25 am
3
0
Read The Choirboys

Read The Choirboys by Joseph Wambaugh if you want a realistic look at police work and unwritten rules concerning dealing with other cops. As far as tickets always not being given that does happen if the officer feels the incident was not cut and dried wrong doing. Honestly, I think that probably applies here.

I once pulled out from a street, working my way around a Pepsi truck that was illegally parked blocking my sight down the road. I hit a car, but the officer didn't give me a ticket after I told him what happened and the other driver backed me up.

seenitB4
84279
Points
seenitB4 03/05/13 - 10:29 am
3
0
^^^^I like that Reb

I like your insurance....smart dog btw.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 03/05/13 - 10:36 am
1
0
The Follow-up -- Driver Training
Unpublished

It appears that the accident issue WAS sent to Fleet Management. The story today, says that the Deputy will have to complete the DDC.

rebellious
20514
Points
rebellious 03/05/13 - 11:16 am
1
0
dahreese

It's called smart business to look at the long range cost of today's decisions. Has more to do with MONEY than with the color of skin.

But then, your posts seem to go both ways so figuring out your position on an issue is like trying to nail Jello to a wall.

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