‘Glad to be back’: Deputy injured by alleged drunken driver in 2017 returns to work

Forsyth County Deputy First Class Rod Reeves

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Forsyth County Deputy First Class Rod Reeves

Following more than a year of recovery, a Forsyth County deputy is back on the job after a suspected drunken driver hit his parked patrol car on Ga. 400, breaking his hip and ribs.

Deputy First Class Rod Reeves told Channel 2 Action News on Monday he underwent five surgeries and intensive physical therapy since the November 2017 incident.

“I’m finally back into the saddle,” Reeves said. “Definitely glad to be back.”

Reeves was on patrol when a call of a drunken driver came in around 1:30 a.m. while he was parked on the northbound shoulder of Ga. 400 near Majors Road. However, Reeves said he just put his vehicle in drive when his car was struck by a 2005 Ford Explorer.

“Unfortunately, he found me before I found him,” Reeves told Channel 2.

RELATED: Deputy injured in crash; driver suspected of DUI

The driver crashed into Reeves’ squad car, breaking several of his ribs and severely injuring his hip. Sheriff Ron Freeman told the news station Monday he clearly remembers the call he got from a lieutenant telling him what happened.

“He said it again and again: ‘Boss, it don’t look good. Boss, it don’t look good,’” Freeman said.

A Forsyth County Sheriff's Office deputy  was injured in 2017 when a vehicle driven by a suspected DUI driver crashed into his parked patrol car on Ga. 400. (Photo: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office)

Credit: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

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Credit: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

The Explorer’s driver, 27-year-old Aaron Riley Russell, faces several charges in connection with the crash, and his case is still pending, according to Forsyth County court records. He posted a $37,235 bond.

The charges he faces include DUI, serious injury by vehicle and driving with a revoked license as a habitual violator, AJC.com previously reported. The Georgia State Patrol investigated the crash.

Reeves’ lengthy road to recovery presented many challenges, including discouraging setbacks, he told Channel 2 . However, when interviewed months after the crash, he said his 2-year-old son’s initial response is what kept him fighting.

“We are always kissing his boo boos, making it better,” Reeves said. “It was hard for me to see the frustration on his face because he keeps trying to kiss my boo boos, but he doesn’t understand why daddy isn’t getting any better.”

MORE: Deputy recovering months after DUI crash says he's grateful

Freeman also tried to encourage Reeves by offering to let him choose his own work vehicle when he returned. He chose a new Chevy Tahoe when he rejoined the department last week, the news station reported.

“I love serving my community and get a great deal of fulfillment from doing that,” he said.

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