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BCSO blotter: Traffic stop could’ve been deadly
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From Bryan County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Traffic violations, more: A deputy driving around 12:17 a.m. Aug. 29 on Highway 17 near the KOA in Richmond Hill “noticed what appeared to be a set of tail lights in the Highway 17 north lanes,” and that they “were traveling away from me, meaning the car was going south in the north bound lanes.”

The deputy called for help because he saw oncoming traffic, and two deputies and a Richmond Hill Police Department officer came to help as oncoming cars swerved off the road to avoid hitting the wrong-way driver head on. Which wasn’t easy, evidently.

“The car was weaving back and forth across both north lanes of travel,” and then sped up in what the deputy took as an effort to get away, the report said.

A deputy “sped up to attempt to disable the vehicle before it could hit oncoming traffic,” the driver of the car … swerved into the median and slammed on his brakes.”

The driver’s first words to the deputy were “what have I done wrong, was I speeding?” The deputy asked the man for his license and insurance and to shut the car – a Nissan with Kentucky plates – off.

The man, who had a Jeffersonville, Ga., address, shut the car off but couldn’t find his license but did have an Indiana ID card. He also smelled of alcohol and “seemed to have trouble with his coordination, and making coherent thoughts and completing his sentences,” the report said, noting the man denied drinking.

“He again inquired as to why he was stopped and I told him he was driving on the wrong side of the road. He said he was not, everyone else was.” The man then told the deputy he was heading to South Carolina from Jekyll Island, and when asked if he’d submit to a “portable breath test and field sobriety testing … he said no he had already had a COVID test and it was negative.”

The man had to be helped out of his car. He then agreed to a blood test, so EMS took his blood. An open beer was found in the car, beer had been spilled on the floorboard and a .22 pistol was found in the glovebox. A check of the man’s criminal history showed he was a convicted felon, so he was cited for DUI, driving on wrong side of road, no seatbelt, driving with expired license, failure to maintain line, and he was charged with convicted felon with a firearm.

He was taken to jail. His car was towed.

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