SAVANNAH, GA (May 24, 2015): A Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police patrol officer was transported for treatment and two people arrested and charged after a collision on Savannah’s south side Saturday night.
Jose Maria Perez, 18, was charged by the Georgia State Patrol with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and failing to render aid, driving without a license, and failure to notify after hitting an object.
Margarita Ruiz-Gomez, 19, was charged by Metro Police with false report of a crime after she arrived at the scene and told police the gray, 2006 Nissan Altima involved in the crash had been stolen earlier that night.
The officer was transported to Memorial University Medical Center for treatment of injuries after the 8:54 p.m. crash at Tibet Avenue and Middleground Road and released.
He was driving a marked Ford Crown Vic police car east on Tibet and entered the intersection with a green light when the Nissan sped through the intersection northbound on Middleground through a red traffic signal.
The Nissan broadsided the police car, spun through a pedestrian traffic signal and a privacy fence and then struck a townhouse on the corner of the intersection. The driver ran from the scene on foot as bystanders ran to the officer’s aid.
Ruiz-Gomez called police to report the Nissan stolen and arrived at the crash scene where she later revealed her boyfriend had been driving the car. Perez was located by Southside Precinct Crime Suppression Unit officers Sunday morning at their apartment on the 12000 block of Middleground Road and turned over to troopers investigating the crash. Both vehicles were destroyed.
SCMPD Patrol Maj. Larry Branson has ordered Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) computer mounts in all police vehicles inspected immediately after it was determined that one of the officer’s injuries was received when the computer dislodged during the crash and struck his head.
State Troopers and precinct officers continue to investigate the crash and activities associated with it.