Deputy in At­lanta ICU after wreck

Fam­ily rais­ing funds with GoFundMe cam­paign

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - JACKIE GUTKNECHT jgutknecht@cov­

New­ton County Sher­iff’s Deputy Justin White, 28, was in­volved in a sin­gle-ve­hi­cle crash in the early morn­ing hours of Oct. 30 on High­way 162.

As of Fri­day, White was still in the In­ten­sive Care Unit (ICU) at At­lanta Med­i­cal Cen­ter, await­ing surgery.

The deputy was on his way to an emer­gency call in a marked pa­trol ve­hi­cle with emer­gency equip­ment ac­ti­vated around 2:30 a.m. Sun­day,

ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Ge­orgie Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion Of­fice.

The right side tires of his ve­hi­cle re­port­edly left the road­way and en­tered the west shoul­der be­fore re-en­ter­ing the south­bound lanes of High­way 162. The deputy lost con­trol of the ve­hi­cle and even­tu­ally struck an em­bank­ment and over­turned, com­ing to an un­con­trolled rest on its roof on the south shoul­der of Mote Road, fac­ing east.

The deputy was ex­tri­cated from his ve­hi­cle and trans­ported to At­lanta Med­i­cal Cen­ter (AMC). There was no airbag de­ployed in the ac­ci­dent. The deputy was not wear­ing his safety belt, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ge­or­gia’s Gover­nor’s Of­fice of High­way Safety and the Ge­or­gia Seat Belt Law (O.C.G.A. 408-76-1), “a pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle per­form­ing an emer­gency ser­vice” is not re­quired to use safety belts.

The ex­act cause of the ac­ci­dent is un­known, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from NCSO Sgt. Michael Cun­ning­ham.

White was sched­uled for surgery on Tues­day. How­ever, due to his health he was not able to un­dergo the pro­ce­dure.

“Please keep Deputy White and his fam­ily in your thoughts and prayers as we all are do­ing as his NCSO fam­ily,” Mor­ri­son said.

Sher­iff Ezell Brown ex­pressed grat­i­tude dur­ing the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers (BOC) meet­ing Nov. 1.

“It is with too much re­lief that I can speak in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion of the deputy and his health at this time,” he said. “How grate­ful I am to the cit­i­zens who stood there and ad­min­is­tered first aid to calm his fears. I am also grate­ful for all of those first re­spon­ders who ar­rived.

“Por­terdale am­bu­lance ser­vices, life flight and other paramedics who were there to per­form life-sav­ing meth­ods. And I was there wit­ness­ing mir­a­cles of our sav­ior Je­sus Christ. As I stood there be­fore the head of this young of­fi­cer while they got him out and pre­pared him on the gur­ney and get­ting ready to life flight him out this of­fi­cers started to ask for dif­fer­ent fam­ily mem­bers and his co-work­ers and all were try­ing to keep him calm.”

Brown said White then went into car­diac ar­rest.

“I started to watch mir­a­cles per­formed by those first re­spon­ders,” he said. “It is amaz­ing how those first re­spon­ders stood there and called our team­work with one an­other. Mo­ments later we started to see the heart­beat of that young man.”

White was sched­uled for surgery Tues­day, but it was post­poned in best in­ter­est of his health, Brown said.

“We ask for prayer for him; we ask for prayer for his fam­ily; we ask for prayer for our or­ga­ni­za­tion,” he said. “It was hard; it was tough for those guys to watch their brother suf­fer. It is amaz­ing to me how things can hap­pen.

“I want to say to you, it is amaz­ing what the power of God can do. It’s amaz­ing. Don’t worry about your storm, just tell him how big it is.

White’s fam­ily has started a GoFundMe cam­paign to raise funds to help sup­port him dur­ing his hospi­tal stay.

Brit­tany Gaynes, who is the cousin of White’s girl­friend Mor­gan Con­ners, started the cam­paign.

“The funds will go to Justin and Mor­gan’s needs while he is hos­pi­tal­ized as he can­not work and [we] do not know when or if that time will come,” Gaynes said.

Do­na­tions can be made at­cic.

It is amaz­ing how those first re­spon­ders stood there and called our team­work with one an­other. Mo­ments later we started to see the heart­beat of that young man.”

— Ezell Brown,

New­ton County Sher­iff

Sub­mit­ted photo | The Cov­ing­ton News

New­ton County Sher­iff’s Deputy Justin White is in the ICU at AMC after a sin­gle ve­hi­cle crash the morn­ing of Oct. 30.

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