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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

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Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 03/05/13 - 12:38 pm
1
0
Watermedic asked the only good question!

Why were the two deputies running lights and sirens on the"way" to the checkpoint? I guess the reason is because they could. In no way could it be prudent to go to a duty assignment with lights and sirens.. They probably were speeding and probably would have been better off to have just sped without the extra bells and whistles. Anyway you cut it it seems like they were just messing around/speeding and every police officer has done it as some time or another!

Maybe all of the deputies in the Operation should take a driving refresher course. Doesn't RC have a course at their training facility on Deans Bridge?

Little Lamb
47048
Points
Little Lamb 03/05/13 - 12:40 pm
1
0
Lights, Camera, Action

Sweet Son, if you will click back over to page 1 and go to my post about the Channel 6 News story; I have posted a link to the Channel 6 story that has a video clip of the story. If you start the video, you will see it was more than just these two cars that had blue lights flashing and sirens blaring. It was dozens of cars. They were showing their machismo. It is unprofessional, in my opinion.

deerkiller
24
Points
deerkiller 03/05/13 - 02:13 pm
1
0
The over all picture

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

I think that some us here are missing the point of the positive aspect of the operation . Look at the numbers if DUI that were taken off the road or fugitives apprehended. What if they saved one of your loved ones that night by taking that person off the street?...What if they were not stopped and they killed your wife , daughter , son or loved one ? I am sure that there are many victims of drunk drivers out there that could care less if a Deputy had his seat belt or lights on, if it would have save the one that they love that night ...The child car seats , sound harmless enough right ? what if they have a crash , the child dies and they live . That little thing changes a whole life time . None us us leave the house with the thought of "hey lets go crash or kill our self today " these things happen so fast and without warning . Here is a though..millions of people went to work today across the country , everyone is thinking about what they are going to do when they get home or for the weekend ...But what really is going to happen is 15 of them are going to die on the way home and they don't know it yet and another 1500 will be injured in crashes on the way, and it may not even be their fault...Life is not a guarantee but sometime little things do matter , and Rolling Thunder is not about money as some may think it is about educating and possibly saving the one you loves life , if not your own.

Sweet son
10753
Points
Sweet son 03/05/13 - 03:59 pm
1
0
Sorry Little Lamb

I should have looked closer. So in other words it was a funeral/police car procession where two cars collided. I still say if they weren't going to an emergency call and only going to a duty assignment that the lights and sirens were not necessary. Not being disrespectful to you with this comment.

I bet Lt. does not try that trick again!

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 03/05/13 - 04:20 pm
0
1
You people commenting on here
Unpublished

You people commenting on here are nuts. No one cares that your opinion is deputies should be required to wear a seat belt. The fact is they don't have to. RC policy states that a seatbelt should be worn at all times, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. That folks is a loophole in the system that gives deputies an out.
As far as your complaint that he should have gotten a ticket is absurd. How many of you complainers on here have been involved in an accident and did not receive a ticket? Every person at fault in an accident does not receive a ticket. It is up to the deputy or trooper handling the accident. That is his or her sole discretion. There is no law or policy that says everybody gets a ticket.
And the review board was the dumbest thing ever in Richmond County. It consisted of people within the dept. if they didn't like you, you were found at fault. It didnt matter what the circumstances were. A deputy didnt stand a chance. It was a prejudiced board!
A citizens board is unbiased to a certain degree. If someone on the board received a ticket, they will probably want revenge on the deputy and vote that he was wrong.
It's almost impossible to find a goup of people to judge a deputies actions fairly.
What If your company had a review board and you made someone on it mad. Then you were late for work and had to plead your case in front of them. Do you think you would be treated fairly? I think not.
Just be glad they didn't die and they are there when you need them.
And yes I used to work there for a long time under 2 sheriffs.

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 03/05/13 - 06:01 pm
1
0
Just curious, how many DUI's

Just curious, how many DUI's arrests are there on a typical Friday or saturday night in the absence of Operation Thunder? Also, I think the Lt. meant Risk Management and not Fleet Management.

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