A collision between a Columbus police cruiser and a pickup truck on Victory Drive at 30th Avenue has left an 87-year-old truck driver dead and the officer treated for injuries.
The driver of the pickup was identified as Scott Junior Miller of Columbus, said Muscogee Chief Deputy Coroner Freeman Worley. He was pronounced dead at 1:58 p.m. at Midtown Medical Center, formerly The Medical Center. His body will be sent to Atlanta on Saturday for an autopsy.
Officer Brian Rowe was transported to the same hospital, where his condition wasn’t immediately available.
Because the accident was serious and involved a police cruiser, the investigation was turned over to the Georgia State Patrol.
Westbound traffic on Victory Drive was diverted between North Lumpkin Road and 30th Avenue for more than five hours, while troopers investigated the accident. Diverting the traffic on the section of Victory Drive sent vehicles choking many neighborhood intersections in south Columbus. Troopers reopened the road at 7:21 p.m.
Rowe was traveling west in his Ford Crown Victoria approaching 30th Avenue when an eastbound Ford pickup driven by the man attempted a left turn onto 30th Avenue. The police cruiser collided with the passenger side of the pickup.
After the impact, the crumpled pickup ended up in a vacant lot near a tree on the north side of Victory Drive while the police cruiser spun around facing east in the emergency westbound lane against the curb.
The eastbound lanes were slowed but remained opened while the crash was investigated.
Authorities said the westbound lanes were blocked for hours because troopers brought in special mapping equipment as part of the accident investigation. The entire accident scene was mapped.