When Newton County resident Denise Daniels awoke to the sound of a wall-shaking boom in the early morning hours of May 25 at her mother's Salem Road home, her first thought was that burglars were attacking the house. Heart racing, she jumped up and called 911.
But when she walked outside to meet the deputy for the burglary call, she encountered a scene that could have been lifted straight from an action movie set.
A sheriff's deputy patrol car had apparently gone off the road, flipped over multiple times and stopped on the bed of her parked truck, knocking out the brick pillar of the carport. The deputy inside pulled himself out of the wreckage and walked up the driveway.
Daniels was in disbelief. "It was quite the night," said the 39-year-old elementary school teacher. "I can't say I've ever experienced that before."
According to a Georgia State Patrol report, deputy Joey Frank Salers, III was heading north on Salem Road around 3 a.m., responding to a call of an accident with injuries at the intersection with Brown Bridge Road.
Salers reportedly saw a deer in the road and stepped on the brakes of the 2008 Ford Crown Victoria, causing the rear end of the vehicle to turn counterclockwise. He attempted to regain control of the car, according to the report, briefly facing south in the northbound lane, before skidding off the shoulder of the road, narrowly missing an electric pole but taking out the guy wire. The car flipped several times before crashing into the carport and parked truck at 4924 Salem Road.
Salers was taken to Newton Medical Center and treated, but didn't have any severe injuries, according to NCSO spokesperson Lt. Mark Mitchell.
"We're thankful no one was severely hurt," Mitchell said.
Salers, who recently started with patrol division at the beginning of the year and has been with the NCSO for four years, was brought before an accident review board and administratively sanctioned after the May 25 accident, according to Mitchell. Salers is currently still with the uniformed patrol division riding along with another deputy but not operating a car.
The 24-year-old deputy had been involved in a prior crash on April 6 during a chase, which was also investigated by the Georgia State Patrol. After that accident, Salers was also brought before the accident review board.
"He was involved in an accident before and administratively handled by a shift supervisor," Mitchell said.
While it's been nearly a month and a half since the accident, the damage at Daniels' mother's house still remains due to wrangling with the NCSO's Texas-based insurance company, Trident, said Daniels. She said she used much of her own time obtaining even the most basic information, such as the name of the company, and added that she has yet to receive a call from the sheriff's office.
"I'm just very disappointed in the way this was handled" she said. "I just want my house and my truck back to the way it was before the accident."