Valdosta man dies after wreck, Tasing -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta man dies after wreck, Tasing

Waycross, Georgia

Otto Kolberg, 55, was driving to Valdosta after making a business trip to Waycross to buy materials for his business when his pickup truck ran off the road and hit a utility pole.

Authorities say that Kolberg's truck ran across the highway and through the ditch before hitting the pole.

The sheriff said that Kolberg attacked first responders, and was tased by a deputy. He lost consciousness, and was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy will be done on his body in Savannah.  The GBI is investigating the case.

Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal sent the following News release:


Lowndes County Man dies following Vehicle Accident on Valdosta Highway in Ware County

Sheriff Randy Royal stated that Mr. Otto Kolberg, 55 of Valdosta, Georgia died yesterday after his 2001 Toyota Tundra truck left Georgia Highway 38 and struck a utility pole in Ware County.

Witness on scene told Ware County Deputies that they observed Kolberg's vehicle leave the west bound lane and cross the eastbound lane and continued onto the east shoulder striking a utility pole on Georgia Highway 38 near mile marker 14.

After shearing the pole in half his vehicle continued westbound and struck an embankment, then crossed a driveway and finally came to rest after striking a tree.

The Ware County 911 center was notified at approximately 10:20 am yesterday of the single vehicle accident and Ware County EMS, Ware County Fire/Rescue and Ware County Sheriff's personnel all responded to the accident. Upon arrival, EMS and Fire Department personnel attempted to render emergency aid to Mr. Kolberg, who was still in the vehicle said Sheriff Royal.

"When a Ware County EMT attempted to treat Mr. Kolberg he became combative and physically assaulted her by biting her hand and then kicking her in the chest. When a Paramedic and a Firefighter attempted to restrain Mr. Kolberg he attempted to kick, hit and bite them also" said Royal.

"At this time a Ware County Deputy Sheriff who was assisting in investigating the traffic accident responded to the fighting and attempted to take control of Kolberg so that he would not harm anymore emergency personnel or further injure himself.

After being warned several times by the Deputy Sheriff not to fight or "bite" emergency personnel, the Deputy Sheriff utilized non-lethal force in an attempt to gain physical control of Mr. Kolberg, who was again in the process of attempting to bite a Ware County firefighter. The Deputy Sheriff used his X26 Advanced TASER to perform a single "Drive Stun", and only for a shorten duration of time said Sheriff Royal."

"Even after the "Drive Stun" technique was utilized Mr. Kolberg continued to resist being treated by emergency personnel at the scene. While at the accident scene Mr. Kolberg began to show signs that he was becoming weak and unable to resist at which time he became unresponsive and emergency personnel started CPR and transported him to the Satilla Regional Medical Center in Waycross where he arrived at 11:04 am. Following unsuccessful medical intervention Mr. Kolberg was pronounced dead at 11:42 am by Ware County Coroner Aitha Lucas" said Sheriff Royal.

Sheriff Royal stated that the "Drive Stun" procedure is made by pressing the front of the TASER with the cartridge removed onto the body of a subject resisting lawful orders, and activating the TASER. The "Drive Stun" causes significant localized pain in the area touched by the TASER but does not have a significant effect on the central nervous system. The Drive Stun does not incapacitate a subject but may assist in taking a subject into custody.

"The Use of the "Drive Stun" technique is taught and authorized by Ware County Sheriff's Office policy to bring a subject displaying active, aggressive or aggravated aggressive resistance safely under control" said Sheriff Royal.

Sheriff Royal stated that the accident investigation has determined that Mr. Kolberg drove from Valdosta to Waycross yesterday morning to purchase items for his business. After purchasing the items he was returning to Valdosta when the accident occurred.

"While the Ware County Sheriff's Office is investigating the motor vehicle accident, Mr. Kolberg died a short time after non lethal force (X26 TASER) had been utilized by a Ware County Deputy Sheriff in an attempt to restrain Mr. Kolberg from assaulting emergency personnel at the scene.

For this reason I have requested that the GBI conduct an investigation to determine the cause and manner of Mr. Kolberg's death. The GBI Region 4 office in Douglas, Georgia is conducting that investigation at this time and an autopsy on Mr. Kolberg's body is scheduled to be performed at the State Crime Lab in Savannah" stated Sheriff Royal.

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