Deputy Michael Larson Down (Georgia)
Courtesy of WTOC-TV
It is a very sad day for Bryan County deputies and their families. A deputy has lost his life in the line of duty.
Investigators tell us, before midnight Sunday, 23-year-old John Smith of Guyton was driving his 2000 Toyota Camry west on Highway 204 when he failed to negotiate a curve in the road, crossed over the median and crashed. He came to rest on Highway 280 in the eastbound lane. He did not put his lights on, and the accident was not reported.
The deputy, 43-year-old Michael Larson, a training officer with Bryan County Sheriff's Department, was responding to a call and did not see the car in the lane. He sideswiped the vehicle and crashed into several trees along 204. Larson was pronounced dead at the scene.
"Another accident, not too far from where the teacher and her son were killed," nearby resident Amanda Marks told WTOC.
Marks lives just down the road. She knows the history of the 204-280 intersection.
"It's bad," she said. "People fly though and don't pay attention to speed limits or nothing."
Georgia State Patrol and the Specialized Collision Re-Enactment Team spent Monday morning piecing together what happened.
Meanwhile, Bryan County sheriff's deputies used a K-9 to sniff out live ammo. Deputy Larson trained new officers at the Bryan County Sheriff's Department.
"It's a small town, so I'm sure most people know who he is," Marks said.
"It's real sad," Donna Lester told WTOC. "There are lots of accidents happening there."
Lester hopes the tragedy will shine a light on how dangerous the intersection can be. "People are always speeding through there," she said. "I think they need a caution light or something."
"It's awful," said Marks. "They need to do something about it, but nothing is being done."
John Smith has been charged with DUI, possession of marijuana failure to maintain a lane and vehicular homicide in first degree.
An investigation by the Georgia State Patrol and the Specialized Collision Re-Enactment Team is still ongoing.
There are no reports of other injuries.
Republished with permission of WTOC-TV.
Contact Information: Bryan County Sheriff's Office
P.O. Box 960
Pembroke, GA 31321