UPDATE: Charges filed against driver who struck Blue Ridge patrol car in Friday accident

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BLUE RIDGE, Ga. -UPDATE: Corp. Jason Bradburn of the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) confirmed Saturday, April 7, that charges have been filed against the driver that struck a Blue Ridge Police vehicle on state Route 515 Friday afternoon.

Karen Yingling, 49, of Blairsvillle, was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane after the 2000 Mercury Mountaineer she was driving drifted out of the southbound lanes and struck the rear of a patrol car occupied by Capt. R.A. Stuart, of the Blue Ridge Police Department, that was parked on the shoulder of the highway.

Bradburn confirmed that Yingling was not seriously injured in the accident and refused transport to Fannin Regional Hospital while Capt. Stuart was sent to Fannin Regional for a precautionary evaluation. Bradburn added GSP received word of the accident at 2:56 p.m.

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – According to Blue Ridge Interim Police Chief Johnny Scearce, a patrol vehicle occupied by Capt. R.A. Stuart was struck by another vehicle just before 3 p.m. Friday, April 6.

Scearce stated Stuart’s vehicle was parked off of state Route 515 near BB&T bank to slow traffic on the four-lane highway as Blue Ridge Elementary School was dismissing students for the day. Scearce clarified Capt. Stuart was inside his vehicle when another vehicle “crossed over the line and hit Stuart’s patrol car at about 50 mph.”

According to Scearce, Stuart suffered no serious injuries in the accident but initially complained of pain in his back, leg and foot. Stuart was then transported to Fannin Regional Hospital for a precautionary evaluation.

“(Stuart) said he was alright and was feeling better,” Scearce said of the conversation he had with Capt. Stuart.

As for the driver of the vehicle that struck Stuart’s patrol car, Scearce stated he was not aware of the name of the driver, but that driver too was not seriously injured and refused transport to Fannin Regional.

Scearce added the Georgia State Patrol worked the accident and said he did not know if any charges will be filed against the driver.

Please continue to follow FetchYourNews for more details on this accident as they become available.

 

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Police department, city employees to see pay increases

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BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After a one-hour and 26-minute executive session during their Tuesday, March 13, meeting, the Blue Ridge City Council reconvened to announce and approve pay increases for the city Police Department and other city employee positions.

Pay increases for the Police Department are as follows:

  • Interim Chief of Police Johnny Scearce will receive $28.95 an hour, up from $26.32;
  • Captain/Investigator Rob Stuart will receive $22.76 an hour, up from $20.14;
  • Sergeant Joe Patterson will receive $20.27 an hour, up from $17.48;
  • Corporal Justin Ware will receive $17.92 an hour, up from $15.45;
  • Officer Sam Rosiles will receive $17.40 an hour, up from $15.00;
  • Officer Ricky Henry will receive $15.00 an hour, up from $13.39;
  • Assistant Chief Mike Presswood will receive $23.89 an hour, up from $21.72;
  • Lieutenant Gary Huffman will receive $21.23 an hour, up from $18.78;
  • Corporal Michael Green will receive $18.22 an hour, up from  $15.71;
  • Officer James Chastain will receive $15.00 an hour, up from $14.63;
  • Officer TJ Alexander will receive $15.00 an hour, up from $13.91; and
  • Officer Gerald Webb will receive $15.00 an hour, up from $14.63.

Also, the starting pay for the city Police Department will now be $15.00 an hour, up from $14.00. Of the increases, Councilman Nathan Fitts explained an analysis of surrounding police departments in north Georgia was conducted recently and the Blue Ridge Police Department was found to be one of the lowest-paid departments in the area. The increases, Fitts said, are still within the Police Department’s budget and will give the department a more competitive pay. Councilman Ken Gaddis stated the department was “deserving of the raises.”

City pool employees will also see a bump in pay this summer. New-hire lifeguards will make $8.00 an hour, returning concession workers will receive $9.00 and head lifeguards will make $10.00 an hour.

In addition, City Clerk Kelsey Ledford will receive $17.74 an hour, up from $13.94 and will now work at City Hall five days a week. Council members explained research had proven the city clerk’s pay, like the Police Department, was below that of surrounding areas.

 

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Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

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