VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A Valdosta police officer and a Lowndes County Sheriff's Deputy continued to recover Tuesday night after crashing into each other Tuesday afternoon.
The crash happened around 3:45 p.m. at the intersection of Gordon St. and Troup St.
The officer and deputy were responding to a call for back up on Lausanne Dr. from two other VPD officers who received minor head injuries after reportedly being shoved to the ground by 27 year old Demitrius Nelson.
At the time, police were talking to Nelson about a vehicle dispute between him and another person. "Officers had a right to detain him to speak to him about this issue," explained Valdosta Police Department Cpt. Bobbi McGraw.
Willie Thomas witnessed the crash. He said the cars nearly hit children playing in the front yard of 602 Gordon St., where the cars eventually came to rest.
"They could've killed one of them young babies right there, man," said Thomas, emphatically, as he gestured to the spot in the front yard where the two children were playing seconds before the cars crashed into the yard.
The mailbox at 602 Gordon St. and a large chunk of a tree in the front yard of the home were still strewn across the yard hours after the crash. A woman who was at the home at the time of the crash said if it weren't for the tree, more innocent bystanders likely would've been hurt.
Continued Thomas, "both of [the children] was in the yard. [Officers] need to slow down. I see police every day just come through that light. They hit they sirens, just come through that light."
Nelson was arrested at the Woodlawn Senior Center without incident shortly after reportedly shoving the officers.
As of Thursday night, he was charged with obstruction.
Both agencies were continuing to investigate the crash Thursday night. Valdosta police were also continuing to investigate the vehicle dispute.
The Valdosta Police Department issued this release Wednesday-
On June 9, 2015 at approximately 3:45 p.m., two VPD officers were involved in a physical struggle with an offender in the 900 block of Lausanne Drive. The two VPD officers had received injuries and were calling for assistance from other officers in capturing the suspect who had fled the area after assaulting the officers. Officers were responding to the scene when vehicles driven by a VPD Sergeant and a Lowndes County Deputy collided at the intersection of E. Gordon St. and N. Troupe St.
The VPD Ford Mustang was traveling east on E. Gordon and the deputy vehicle was traveling north on N. Troupe St when they collided. The police vehicle also struck a tree in the yard of a residence located on the northeast corner of the intersection. The VPD Sergeant was taken to SGMC with arm injuries, and it appears that both vehicles received substantial damage. The traffic accident is under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol. The Valdosta Police Department is conducting an administrative review of the accident.
Georgia law and VPD policy allows for police officers responding to emergency situations to disregard certain traffic regulations as long as due regard and care is used. Multiple officers from various agencies were responding to assist the two officers who were injured and unable to detain the offender.
Demetrius Nelson, 27 year old Valdosta resident got into a physical altercation as he was being taken into custody in the 900 block of Lausanne Drive. Nelson was wanted for Probation Violation and was also being investigated for taking a vehicle that did not belong to him and also for removing items from the vehicle. The two officers injured on Lausanne were taken to SGMC where they were treated and released. One officer sustained a head injury while the second officer received cuts and bruises and a possible head injury. Nelson was charged with two counts of felony obstruction.
Nelson is being held in the Lowndes County Jail pending further investigation and consideration of additional charges.