Sleep driver charged with striking inmates on roadside

Sleep driver charged with striking inmates on roadside
Trooper Peeples
Trooper Peeples

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A driver plowed into a group of prisoners working on the side of a south Georgia road, sending two of them to the hospital. The driver ended up in jail.

State troopers say the driver fell asleep and veered off the road, right where inmates were picking up trash.

The two Georgia State inmates are now recovering from injuries after a man drove into their worksite on the side of US Highway 19 Tuesday afternoon.

"They pick up paper on the side of the road all the time. And out of the blue, out of nowhere, this car just veered off the road and plowed into two of these inmates," said Robert Geer, Thomas Co. Prison Warden.

37-year-old Kevin Times is charged with driving with a suspended license, failure to maintain lane, and failure to move over for an emergency vehicle.

Georgia State Patrol troopers say Times fell asleep behind the wheel and hit inmates Eddie Holloway and Christopher Johnson.

"It is very dangerous," said GSP Trooper Tommy Peeples.

"Most motorists don't take into account just how fast things happen. When you're traveling 55 or 65 miles per hour down a highway, if you take your eyes off the roadway for even just a few seconds, you travel a good distance and a lot can happen in that time frame."

Detail officers park their trucks just to provide some sort of safety buffer for the inmates working on the side of the road. But in this case, it didn't do much help.

Reflective work gear and flashing lights failed to alert Times. Both prisoners were transported to Archbold Memorial Hospital.

"One of them was minor," said Peeples. "The other inmate that was struck went up on the windshield and actually busted the windshield. The windshield came in on the driver, injuring the driver of the vehicle."

Johnson was released from the hospital Tuesday night, while Holloway underwent major surgery and has a serious leg injury.

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