A Long County woman was killed and an off-duty Hinesville police officer had his car run off the road when a man rammed a pickup into the rear of two vehicles early Friday.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Jerry Taylor said Charles W. Martin of Cairo was driving west on Elim Church Road shortly after midnight when he allegedly rammed the back of a Hinesville Police Department sedan driven by K-9 officer Tony Durham several times, forcing it off the road. The officer, who was on his way home from work, had no known injuries. His dog was checked out by a veterinarian in Richmond Hill and also was unharmed, according to Lt. Max McClendon, head of HPD’s traffic investigation unit.
Taylor said Martin continued toward Ludowici and also allegedly struck a 2008 Hyundai Elantra in the rear, forcing it off of the road and causing it to flip. A passenger, Long County resident Motiene McClard, 49, was thrown out of the vehicle.
McClard’s daughter, Amanda Kane, 28, was driving. The mother was pronounced dead at the scene.
Long County/Ludowici Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Richard Truman said Kane was taken by ambulance to Liberty Regional Medical Center, where she was treated for minor injuries.
Taylor said a chase developed and Martin was stopped on Highway 84 in Ludowici by officers of the Ludowici Police Department and Long County Sheriff’s Office. He was taken to Ludowici Jail and has been charged by the GBI with driving under the influence, vehicular homicide, aggravated assault, two charges of following too closely and two charges of leaving the scene of an accident.
Martin appeared Saturday before Chief Magistrate Marie Middleton at the Long County Sheriff’s Office and was offered bond at $30,000 cash for the aggravated assault charge and $50,000 cash for the vehicular homicide charge.
Long County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Julius Bargeron said Martin has to produce 12 percent of the $80,000 total to make bond.
According to McClendon, more charges may be pending. The lieutenant said police suspect Martin also was involved in an accident earlier in the evening outside Buffalo’s Café in Hinesville. A witness reportedly saw a man in a truck back his vehicle into another car in the parking lot and drive away. The witness called 911 and described the vehicle to police, who then issued a bulletin.
Durham’s cruiser took down a power pole, temporarily knocking out power to several areas in Ludowici and Long County. Georgia Power linemen worked well into the morning replacing the power pole and working on the lines.