Driver uses tow truck to stop alleged drunken wrong-way driver

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - A tow-truck driver took quick action to put a stop to a wrong-way driver in Cherokee County.

Law enforcement always advise people in this situation to call 911 and not to use dangerous tactics, but Billy Smith said he just reacted when he saw a minivan driving erratically on Highway 92.

“You hear about drunk drivers all the time running into people and killing people and, like I said, I didn’t know he was drunk, I just knew he was reckless,” Smith said.

Smith said he watched the minivan take out a crosswalk post near Bells Ferry Road, cross over the median into oncoming traffic and barely miss two sheriff’s deputies.

“I was trying to call Cherokee County and as I was trying to call them, he was going head on into oncoming traffic, and lo and behold, it was Cherokee County,” Smith said.

Smith said he watched as the driver narrowly missed two deputies driving in the westbound lane.

“They hit their blue lights on him and he went right at them and went around him and another one came by and he went around him,” Smith said.

Smith said he made a decision to also cross illegally into the westbound lanes with his wrecker and try to cut off the driver to get him to stop.

"More cars were coming and they weren’t police officers, they were regular people and I thought, ‘I can stop him,’” Smith said.

Smith said the minivan’s front corner connected with the back of his wrecker near Wabash Trail. The van had some hood damage but Smith’s truck suffered just a small scratch.

Smith shrugged off praise for his quick actions and said all he was thinking about was keeping someone from getting hurt.

“That’s not a hero, it’s just doing the right thing,” Smith said.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputies identified the driver as William Scott Bently, 55, of Cartersville. Deputies said he was driving under the influence.

Bentley was charged with DUI, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road and hit-and-run.


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