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Deputy may have been asleep at wheel

MONROE, Ga. — The Rockdale County sheriff’s deputy who drove his car into the side of a gas station last week said he’d been sick and taking over-the-counter cold medicine.

Troopers suspect he might have been tired or asleep.

Michael King Ramsey told the Georgia State Patrol troopers who responded to the Jan. 22 crash that he’d swerved to avoid two dogs that ran in his path on West Spring Street in Monroe.

Ramsey was driving west on West Spring Street at 6:25 a.m. He veered to the left, crossing the center turn lane and into the eastbound travel lane, missing an oncoming vehicle. The squad car, a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria, hit a curb, bushes and street sign on the south shoulder of the roadway, then continued through the parking lot of Peach State Federal Credit Union, striking another curb, sign and edge of Breedlove Drive.

The car crossed the street and through the parking lot of the gas station, then hitting the east side of the brick building and crashing through a wall.

The impact affected an interior wall and caused injury to an employee, Jennifer L. Schrantz, 46, of Monroe. Schrantz has said she sustained a concussion and other injuries.

Ramsey, 60, of Conyers, said he did not recall anything that occurred after swerving to miss the dogs until he hit the building. He told troopers he had been sick for several days and had taken Sudafed and Afrin the night before the crash.

In an accident report, a trooper noted Ramsey did not appear impaired at the time of the crash. However, “suspected fatigued or asleep” is marked as a condition of the operator in the state Motor Vehicle Crash Report.

No alcohol or drug test was given.

An administrative manager with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately return a call seeking comment.