Man arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed Henry Co. officer - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Man arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed Henry Co. officer

Officer Elgin Daniel - Courtesy of Henry County Police Department Officer Elgin Daniel - Courtesy of Henry County Police Department
Arrested: Ruben Marin-Garibay, 43, of Stockbridge Arrested: Ruben Marin-Garibay, 43, of Stockbridge

Police have arrested the man they believe was driving the pickup truck that hit and killed Henry County Police Officer Elgin Daniel Monday night.

Ruben Marin-Garibay, 43, of Stockbridge, is charged with serious crimes.

"We are very pleased to have him within 24 hours of the incident," said Maj. Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police Department. "Mr. Garibay is charged with vehicular homicide, serious injury by motor vehicle, failure to maintain lane and hit-and-run."

Investigators received several tips in the case, but one in particular led them to Garibay's home on Bent Arrow Drive in Stockbridge, just a couple miles from the accident scene.

Tuesday night, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia State Patrol and the Henry County Police Department executed a search warrant at Garibay's home and found a Ford F-350 truck.

"The damage on his vehicle is consistent with the collision from (Monday) night with the officer," said Bolton.

The accident happened while Daniel was helping to put gasoline into a stranded vehicle just east of Commerce Drive at Highway 138 near Stockbridge.

Gordon Jarrett owns the Ford Mustang that had run out of gas. Jarrett told CBS Atlanta News that he had called a roadside assistance company for help.

Daniel arrived on the scene first. Soon afterward, John Cook, 58, of Atlanta, a worker from a roadside assistance company, showed up with a tank of gas. All three vehicles were in the center turn lane of the highway.

"They were helping me put gas in," said Jarrett. "The next thing I know, I saw these two bodies go flying through the air. Then the guy took off. It looked like he stopped, looked back and then took off again."

Jarrett said the whole thing happened very quickly.

"I was behind the car, and that's what saved me from not getting hit," said Jarrett.

Police said Monday's rain and slick roads are possible factors in the accident, but it should have been obvious to all drivers to slow down for the police car in the highway's center lane.

"This officer had flashing blue lights and was very visible, in my opinion, here along the roadway," said Bolton. "Clearly, he would have been seen by a passing motorist, and they would have known after striking two individuals that they had been involved in an accident."

Daniel was with the Henry County Police Department for two years. Prior to his employment in Henry County, he retired as a lieutenant from the DeKalb County Police Department where he worked for 26 years.

Cook is recovering at Atlanta Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Garibay faces a judge for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m.

Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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