Cobb man accused of hitting, injuring APD officer

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ATLANTA —

A police officer is at Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition after a suspected drunk driver hit him in northwest Atlanta.

Atlanta Police Officer Osbert Beckles is suffering head and chest injuries and broken bones. Channel 2's Amanda Cook gathered details from the hospital, where doctors treated the officer overnight.

Georgia State Patrol troopers said it was about 11:30 p.m. when Beckles was working traffic on the exit ramp area on Interstate 75 at Northside Parkway. Suddenly, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata driver slammed into the officer's patrol car.

Investigators identified the Sonata driver as 45-year-old Scott Eugene Welker, of Kennesaw.

After the crash, troopers said Welker got out of the car and tried to run off. He was caught and arrested a short time later.

Beckles had to be extricated from his car and transported to Grady.

This incident may be reminiscent of the circumstances surrounding the death of APD Officer Gail Thomas, killed a year ago this month.

She was assisting with a traffic incident at night on an exit ramp from Interstate 75 to Interstate 85 when a suspected drunk driver hit her.

Beckles to is expected to survive his injuries.

Welker, the man accused of hitting Beckles, is facing driving under the influence and other charges other traffic-related charges, including serious injury by motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, improper turn/improper lane change and seat belt violation.

Welker is being held at the Fulton County Jail.