Georgia Ports Authority Cpl. William Solomon has died of injuries he sustained after being struck by a tractor-trailer in March while directing traffic by the port, according to Liberty County Coroner Reginald Pierce.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper William Bowman, who has been providing support to the Solomon family since March, said he received a phone call early Thursday morning from family members informing him of the former Liberty County deputy's death.
Pierce said his office notified the Chatham County Coroner's Office of Solomon's death, and that office released his remains to the Liberty County Coroner's Office.
Robert Lee Turner, 56, of Riceboro, who was driving the big rig, has been charged with DUI in connection with the incident.
Solomon had been at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah since being injured. He had recently been transferred to the Shepherd Center, a private, not-for-profit hospital in Atlanta that specializes in brain and spinal-cord injury rehabilitation, where he died.
Turner is serving a 10-month jail sentence after his probation was revoked because of the incident.
Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes issued a statement about Solomon. It included reflections from deputies who worked with Solomon during his time as a Liberty deputy, from March 23, 2005, through July 26, 2013. Solomon was a jail officer, a courthouse security deputy and a patrol deputy here.
“I am very saddened to hear of the passing of William Solomon,” Sikes wrote, adding that Solomon “served the citizens of Liberty County with respect and dignity.”
Detective Tracy Jennings of the sheriff’s office called Solomon a “deep thinker who asked a lot of good questions because he wanted to do things the right way,” Sikes said.
The sheriff added that retired Lt. Marty Adams, who was Solomon’s shift commander, said Solomon “was a fine fellow who was always good to me.”
Solomon moved on to the Georgia Ports Authority from the sheriff’s office.
“We missed him when he left, and we will miss him even more now,” Sikes wrote.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with (his wife) Aida and the children, and all of their extended family,” the sheriff said. “We also extend our condolences to the Georgia Ports Authority P.D. for their loss.”
The Coastal Courier will report more details as they become available.