Driver hits 2 officers, 1 pedestrian

by: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Updated:

CARROLLTON, Ga. - The Georgia State Patrol on Saturday continued to investigate two accidents at the same scene that left two Carrollton police officers and a pedestrian injured after they were struck by vehicles.

The GSP said the officers were mapping the scene of the earlier pedestrian accident late Friday when a vehicle authorities said was driven by 60-year-old Paul Powers entered the barricaded area and struck them.

The injured Carrollton officers were identified as Brent Dougans and Mario Potts. Dugans was taken to Tanner Medical Center in Carrollton. Potts was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. Both were later released from the hospital on Saturday.

Carrollton police Capt. Chris Dodd said the pedestrian was in “very serious condition” at Atlanta Medical. The pedestrian’s identity was not immediately available.

The driver who struck the pedestrian was identified as Luis Alonzo Castellano-Mejia, 38. He was charged with driving under the influence, driving without a license, failure to maintain his lane, reckless driving, and fleeing the scene of an accident. Police said Castellano-Mejia fled the scene on foot but was captured later.

The pedestrian was hit between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. near the intersection of Bankhead Highway and Almon Road, Dodd said. As the two offices were in the road investigating the accident into the night, a car pulled out from a side street, hitting them.

The GSP said there was no indication that alcohol was involved in the accident involving the officers. “The vehicle’s windshield possibly fogged up, causing the driver to not be able to see the officers,” the GSP said in a statement.

The accident involving the two officers was the second major incident involving metro Atlanta police officers in recent days. Officer Shawn A. Smiley, 40, and Officer Richard J. Halford, 48, died last Saturday when a police helicopter they were using to search for a missing 9-year-old boy crashed near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. and Hamilton E. Holmes drives near I-20.

The funeral for Smiley was held Saturday at First Baptist Church of Atlanta on North Peachtree Road. A three-hour funeral for Halford was held Friday at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church on Fairburn Road.

Staff writer Stell Simonton and Channel 2 Action News contributed to this article.


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