Officer hurt in fatal collision released from hospital

benw@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 13, 2013 

A Columbus Police cruiser was involved in a traffic wreck on Victory Drive and 30th Avenue Friday afternoon.The wreck has blocked all westbound lanes on Victory Drive. There are two Georgia State Patrol cars on the scene. 11/08/13

MIKE HASKEY — mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

A Columbus police officer who was injured Friday in a fatal collision on Victory Drive has been released from Midtown Medical Center (formerly The Medical Center), officials said.

Officer Brian Rowe, 45, escaped serious injuries in the afternoon crash at 30th Avenue. Police officials couldn't state his work status on Tuesday.

Retired Army 1st. Sgt. Scott Junior Miller, 87, the driver of the Ford Ranger, was pronounced dead at 1:58 p.m. at the hospital.

A preliminary investigation revealed the officer was traveling west on Victory Drive in his 2010 Ford Crown Victoria when the eastbound pickup driven by Miller attempted a left turn onto 30th Avenue about 1:25 p.m. The front of the patrol cruiser collided with the passenger's side of the pickup.

After the collision, the pickup ended up in a vacant lot near a tree on the north side of Victory Drive and the police cruiser spun around facing east in the emergency westbound lane against the curb.The accident remains under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol, which was requested by the Columbus Police Department to conduct the investigation.

Meanwhile, the funeral for Miller will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the chapel of Striffler-Hamby, 4071 Macon Road, Columbus, with the Rev. Gerald D. Bultman officiating. Burial with full military honors and Masonic rites will be at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery.

Miller was born Oct. 17, 1926, in Catlettsburg, Ky., the son of the late Scott Miller and Hazel Marie Puckett Miller. He served more than 25 years in the Army with service during World War II and Korea.

Miller was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 665 on Victory Drive and perpetual member of the Fort Benning Masonic Lodge 579 F&AM.

Retired Lt. Col. Sam Nelson, president of the Chattahoochee Valley Veterans Council, remembers Miller as an old friend for about 20 years.

"He was a big supporter of Chattahoochee Valley Veterans Council and VFW on Victory Drive," Nelson said.

Nelson said he last saw Miller on Nov. 2 during a barbecue at the VFW. Although he was older, Miller wasn't one to sit around and watch others work.

"He should have been there watching the younger guys work, but he had to get down there," Nelson said.

Nelson said Miller should be remembered as a soldier who served during two wars, not for the accident on Victory Drive.

"We don't need to remember Scott on that day," he said. "What we need to remember is he was a soldier and he stood his ground."

Survivors include his wife, Marga Miller; two sisters, Garnet Rose of Cape Coral, Fla., and Virginia Shirey of Bryson City, N.C.; other relatives and friends.

Donations may go to the Endowment Fund, Fort Benning Masonic Lodge 579, P.O. Box 3186, Columbus, GA 31903.

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