Drunken man who caused wreck that severely injured deputy gets 5 years

A man who hit a Forsyth County deputy’s parked patrol car, severely injuring the deputy, pleaded guilty to two felonies and was sentenced to five years in prison, court records show.

Aaron Riley Russell, 28, was sentenced last week on charges of habitual impaired driving and serious injury by vehicle, records show. He pleaded guilty to causing the wreck on Ga. 400 in November 2017, which broke Deputy First Class Rod Reeves’ hip and ribs.

Credit: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Reeves was on patrol when a call of a drunken driver came in around 1:30 a.m. while he was parked on the shoulder of Ga. 400 North near Majors Road, AJC.com previously reported. Reeves put his vehicle in drive just as his car was hit by a 2005 Ford Explorer driven by Russell.

RELATED: Deputy injured in crash; driver suspected of DUI

Reeves required five surgeries and intensive physical therapy, but he returned to his job in January.

“I’m finally back into the saddle,” Reeves told Channel 2 Action News after his first day back on the job. “Definitely glad to be back.”

MORE: 'Glad to be back': Deputy injured by alleged drunken driver in 2017 returns to work

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Several other charges against Russell, including two counts of DUI, reckless driving and two more counts of serious injury by vehicle, were merged as part of his guilty plea Wednesday, records show.

After his time in prison, he will serve an additional 10 years on probation. Russell will also have to pay $5,226 in legal fees and complete 360 hours of community service.

AJC.com has reached out to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for Russell’s mug shot.

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