A driver involved in a wreck that killed a Sumter County deputy faces a misdemeanor vehicular homicide charge, reports state.
Robert E. Cleveland, 41, is charged with vehicular homicide and a stop sign violation in connection with the Saturday evening wreck that killed 42-year-old Robert Lee Pierce, police said.
According to reports, Cleveland was in a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis traveling east on Sixth Street at Veterans at 7:40 p.m. He stopped in the middle of the intersection as he saw two vehicles stopped on Veterans as they tried to turn left onto Sixth.
Cleveland then darted across Veterans and didn’t see Pierce going north on a 2006 Honda CBR 1000. The two vehicles collided, police said.Pierce was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 8:07 p.m., authorities said.
Cleveland was booked into the Muscogee County Jail on Saturday. He made his $2,650 bonds on Sunday, jail officials said.
Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith said Pierce had been with his department for two years. Prior to that, he worked as a deputy with Muscogee County.
“He conducted his job in a professional manner,” Smith said. “The community seemed to very quickly connect with him. He could be stern when he needed to, but he had a kind heart.”
Smith called Pierce a competent employee who was dedicated to his job. Some time ago, Pierce was hurt and was told by a doctor that he couldn’t work. Pierce requested that he be assigned to the jail, where he could sit as he worked.
“I’m real upset about it,” Smith said. “It’s a sad, sad situation. Every corner that you turn, you never know what life’s going to bring.”