ATLANTA — Officers with the Atlanta Police Department told Channel 2 Action News they are frustrated because a repeat DUI offender put one of their own in the hospital.
They said Dara Rappe, 30, crashed into an off-duty officer while he was patrolling a neighborhood for criminals.
The crash happened at Northside Drive and Woodward Way in Northwest Atlanta just before 2 a.m. last Sunday.
Police said the suspected drunken driver was not only under the influence of alcohol, she was speeding when she rear-ended the officer, sending his white SUV crashing into a guardrail with a creek on the other side.
“My first thought was to try and get some help,” Juan Johnson said.
Johnson said he heard the sounds of the horrific car crash. “It woke me up through the walls of my house, so it was pretty violent.”
The crash left William Goss, 40, with broken bones.
“It just adds to the tragedy. It's terrible,” Johnson said.
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Rappe was arrested at the scene and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The arrest is Rappe’s third on suspicion of DUI.
We learned Thursday morning she is cahrged with (driving) too fast for conditions, following too close, DUI/alcohol and reckless driving.
“We have somebody who's decided, who’s made a decision to drive under the influence of alcohol and put one of our officers’ lives in danger. That's unacceptable,” Atlanta police Sgt. John Chafee said.
Rappe was arrested in Gwinnett County in February 2014 on suspicion of DUI after a crash. Just five months earlier, Doraville police charged her with DUI after a crash.
“Knowing that and then seeing something like this happen to a friend of yours is certainly very troubling,” Chafee said.
Goss' family said he will need several months of rehab.
Neighbors said the crash never should have happened.
“It's a shame. It's just a shame. I'm surprised that people aren’t doing better,” Johnson said.
Goss has been with the department for more than 20 years. A GoFundMe page has been set up for him.
Court records show Rappe completed an alcohol awareness course in 2017 as part of reduced charges and her probation.
Cox Media Group