Deputy injured in crash

  • The Hartwell Sun
    The Hartwell Sun

A Hart County deputy suffered injuries including broken bones in a crash as he was responding to a burglary reportedly in progress on Wednesday.

Deputy Matt Sparrow was hospitalized following an accident on Ga. Highway 51 on Jan. 27 as he was driving with his emergency lights on towards a burglary in progress on Oak Crest Drive in the Reed Creek area.

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said Sparrow is being treated for injuries sustained in the crash, but they are non-life threatening.

Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Cameron Fleming said Sparrow was traveling north on Ga. 51 with his emergency lights activated when a Jeep Cherokee, also traveling north on Ga. 51, attempted to turn left onto Mt. Hebron Road. Sparrow attempted to pass the Jeep on the left, in the South bound lane, but as the Jeep turned left Sparrow’s patrol car struck the driver's side of the Jeep.

“Thank God it wasn’t a direct impact, it was just a clip,” Cleveland said.

After impact, the deputy’s vehicle travelled off the left shoulder about 300 feet, troopers said, before it struck a tree and overturned.

Fleming said Sparrow suffered broken bones in the wreck, but the injuries were non-life threatening.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee did not sustain injuries, troopers said.

Neither drivers are expected to face charges, Fleming said.

A lesson can be learned from the incident for both law enforcement and the public, Cleveland said.

“Law enforcement does have a duty to drive safely responding to those emergency situations,” Cleveland said. “But it would also help for the public to not have the radios turned up and really pay attention to the blue lights and sirens.”

Shannon Michelle Bailey, 28, of Hartwell, was arrested and charged with felony first-degree burglary and criminal trespass at the location to which Sparrow was responding.