Originally created 05/03/04

Henry County police officer dies in interstate crash



MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- A Henry County police officer died Sunday morning after he crashed his car into the back of a tractor-trailer parked in an emergency lane on Interstate 75.

Officer Jimmy Gilbert, 41, was the first member of the force killed in the line of duty since the department was formed in 1991, said Lt. Ken Turner of the Henry County police department.

Turner said the accident occurred about 6 a.m. on I-75 north at exit 221.

The driver of the tractor-trailer apparently had parked in an emergency lane to take a nap, Turner said. It was not known if charges will be filed against the truck driver.

The Griffin post of the Georgia State Patrol is handling the investigation of the crash. Calls to the post were not immediately returned Sunday.

Authorities told WSB-TV that the lack of skid marks at the scene cause them to believe that Gilbert may have fallen asleep and crashed.

Gilbert had been in law enforcement since 1984 and had been with the Henry County police since 1993, Turner said. He is survived by his wife and three children.