Sgt. Joshua Robertson is recovering after a car hit him during a chase.
Photo: Banks County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Banks County Sheriff's Office

Banks County deputy hit by car undergoes fourth surgery

A Banks County deputy who was severely injured after a car hit him Friday evening underwent a fourth surgery on Tuesday, authorities said.

Sgt. Joshua Robertson, a 39-year-old-old father of three, suffered broken bones in both arms and both legs, a fractured pelvis, a collapsed lung and multiple cuts on his head and arms, sheriff’s office Capt. Carissa McFaddin said. 

Robertson pulled over 28-year-old Xavire Travez Johnson and 58-year-old Dennis Thurmond, both of Athens, about 9 p.m. Friday on Steve Reynolds Industrial Parkway near U.S. 441.

Both men were arrested on heroin trafficking charges and placed in the back of separate patrol cars, McFaddin said. 

But Johnson was able to get his handcuffs in front of his body and escape out the car’s rear window, she said, prompting a foot chase across the highway. 

A Taser was used, which ended up missing Johnson.

Johnson then got into a struggle with Robertson in a northbound lane of the highway, causing the deputy to be hit and severely injured by another vehicle during what authorities called an “unavoidable accident.”

Xavire Travez Johnson
Photo: Banks County Sheriff's Office

RELATED: Banks County deputy gets struck by vehicle during chase

Robertson, who has been with the Banks County Sheriff’s Office for 3½ years, was taken to Athens Regional Medical Center. The sheriff’s office said it could be at least a year before the deputy is able to return to work.

“Along with surgeries, healing, and physical therapy, he will need support in so many ways,” the agency said in a Facebook post. “Make no mistake, we will ensure that every step of the way he and his family have that support.”

GoFundMe page has been set up to help raise money for the deputy’s medical expenses. As of Tuesday, it had raised nearly $8,000 of its $15,000 fundraising goal.

Johnson was taken to the Jackson County Detention Center, where he bit one deputy during a fight, the post said. On Sunday, he allegedly fought deputies again while being prepared for transfer back to Banks County, causing one deputy to require medical treatment.

As a result of those two incidents, Johnson was taken to the Gwinnett County jail for housing, since the Banks County jail has “limited resources in restricted housing for violent inmates,” according to the Facebook post.

Johnson faces charges of felony obstruction, escape, trafficking heroin, reckless conduct and window tint violation, the post said. He also faces additional felony obstruction charges in Jackson County, Sheriff Janis Mangum told AJC.com.

Thurmond, who was the passenger arrested during the initial traffic stop, faces a count of giving a false name and date of birth in addition to his heroin trafficking charge, the post said.

Dennis Thurmond
Photo: Banks County Sheriff's Office

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash that injured Robertson, but charges against the driver are not expected, police said. 

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