I-20 crash near Grovetown kills 2 Georgia law enforcement officers
GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two law enforcement officers died in a wreck west of Augusta on an already-tragic day for the region’s police as they buried one of their own.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said the officers were from Fulton County.
The agency said the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office Dodge Charger, occupied by two deputies, struck the rear of a tractor-trailer that was stopped for traffic in the left eastbound lane of Interstate 20 just after 11:10 a.m.
The crash at Lewiston Road closed all lanes of eastbound I-20. Although traffic was moving again by 3 p.m. at that location, another fatal crash 10 miles to the west led to a traffic diversion at mile marker 175. That crash also happened on the eastbound side of I-20 and involved nine vehicles.
A reconstruction team and motor carrier compliance officials were assisting with the investigation.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office identified the deputies as Deputy Anthony White, a seven year veteran who joined the agency in December 2012, and Deputy Kenny Ingram who would have marked his 15-years of service in October. Both were assigned to the Law Enforcement Division of the Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office says the deputies were on their way to pick up an inmate to transfer to the Fulton County Jail.
Sheriff Ted Jackson said, “These men had a profound sense of duty throughout their distinguished careers with this agency and for us and this county, the loss of these deputies is devastating.”
“Please keep the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office family and the family members of all involved in your thoughts and prayers,” the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp expressed condolences to the families of the officers on Twitter, saying “Tragic news. Please join @GAFirstLady, the girls, and I in praying for the families, loved ones, and colleagues of these two officers. The thoughts and prayers of all Georgians are with you.”
The incident came on the same day as a memorial service in Augusta for Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Charles Norton. Norton died of complications from COVID-19, becoming the agency’s first line-of-duty coronavirus casualty.
The Lewiston Road location was the site of a maintenance project scheduled for today, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The roadwork was expected to have a minor impact, closing the right lane. It was unclear whether the crash was related to the project.
Even before today’s wrecks, I-20 had been treacherous recently:
- The crash that killed the officers was about 16 miles east of where a tow truck driver was killed in a hit-and-run crash less than two weeks ago. On Sept. 17, Jason Willis was struck by a vehicle as he was loading up another vehicle on I-20 at Cobbham Road in McDuffie County. It happened as torrential rain soaked the region.
- On Monday night, a tractor-trailer caught fire near the Grovetown exit ramp on westbound Interstate 20, causing traffic problems.
- Hours earlier, all lanes of eastbound I-20 were closed in South Carolina a few miles north of North Augusta. A truck accident before 6 a.m. Monday led to the closure near Bettis Academy Road, and only one lane was open for most of the rest of the day.
Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.