Hampton officer critical, struck by vehicle while directing traffic

An off-duty Hampton police officer is in the hospital after being hit by a vehicle while directing traffic Monday, according to officials.

An off-duty Hampton police officer is in the hospital after being hit by a vehicle while directing traffic Monday, according to officials.

An off-duty Hampton police officer remained in critical condition Tuesday, hours after being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic, officials said.

Officer Duane Jones, 39, of Macon, was working a job at a Georgia Department of Transportation construction site when he was struck around 10:40 p.m., according to the Georgia State Patrol. The crash happened on Ga. 3 near Atlanta Motor Speedway, according to investigators.

Jones was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital, the state patrol said. Hampton police Chief James Turner said Jones sustained a fractured hip, several broken ribs, a fractured fibula, spinal fractures and bruised lungs.

“We ask that you please keep Officer Jones, his family, the police department and the entire city in your prayers,” Turner said during an afternoon news conference.

Jones is an 18-year veteran of law enforcement, Turner said.

No charges are pending in the crash, which remains under investigation, the state patrol said.

Turner thanked the community as well as various public safety members for their support since Jones was injured. Gov. Brian Kemp spoke with Turner, the chief said, to offer his wishes for a speedy recovery for the officer.

Some city officials, including Hampton Mayor Ann Tarpley, spent the night at Grady after learning about the wreck.

“We as a city are 100% behind Officer Jones and his recovery,” Tarpley said. “We are asking that our entire citizenry would stand with us and would pray and lift him that he would have a speedy recovery. We’re hoping as we lift him up in prayer and his family, they would know that the entire citizenry is behind him.”

This year, a sheriff’s deputy and a trooper with the state patrol were killed when they were hit by vehicles in separate incidents. Metro Atlanta officers and crossing guards have also been injured by drivers while on the job.

Deputy Eric Minix with the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office died Jan. 4 after being hit by an Alabama police officer’s patrol car as he stepped out of his own vehicle at the end of a chase, according to investigators. The deputy had been involved in a pursuit of a stolen vehicle on I-85 that extended into Chambers County, Alabama. Minix, 31, is survived by his wife and three children.

Then on Feb. 20, Trooper First Class Chase Redner was fatally struck by a vehicle while he was investigating a crash that left a construction worker dead on I-75 in Clayton County. Redner, 31, died from his injuries. He is survived by his mother and fiancée.

In September, a school guard in Decatur was struck by a hit-and-driver who was later located, according to police. Jeffrey Smith was able to return to work in April.

A Fairburn police officer was struck by a motorist on I-85 South in August while he was investigating a crash, according to police. The officer, whose name was not released, survived but sustained serious injuries.