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.
The deputy was on his way to an emergency call in a marked patrol vehicle with emergency equipment activated around 2:30 a.m., 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. 40-8-76-1), “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 is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at AMC, according to a statement from NCSO Sgt. Cortney Morrison.
"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 at https://www.gofundme.com/2wsscic.