Family hires attorney after teen injured in crash with officer

Family hires attorney after teen injured in crash with officer

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A conflict over what allegedly happened at the scene of an accident involving a teen and an unmarked detective car is raising concerns among the victim's family.

A 16-year-old boy reportedly disregarded a stop sign on Wade Street and slammed his bicycle into the rear passenger side of an unmarked police car on Friday afternoon.

An anonymous witness told News Leader 9 the detective tried to leave the scene. "I saw the officer act like he wasn't going to stop so I screamed and he stopped."

There were two witnesses who came forward at the scene, according to police reports. One of them is Jody Wilhite. She gave New Leader 9's Roslyn Giles a totally different account than that of the anonymous witness.

"That is a lie, the officer did not try to leave; he got out of the car and tried to help the boy. I saw the boy go up in the air and drop down in front of the officer's car. I would have hit him with my car had I not seen him first."

A police diagram shows the point of impact at the intersection of Wade Street and Benning Drive. The unmarked unit was traveling north on Benning Drive and the bicycle was going west on Wade street.

The Columbus police department said it investigated the accident and says there is no indication that the officer was in violation, and questions why the anonymous witness didn't come forward at the scene.

"She told me, she tried to give a statement at the scene, but was not allowed to give a statement," said the victim's attorney Stacey Jackson.

Jackson says he also feels the department should have called in the Georgia State Troopers to investigate.

"I don't know if their policy is based on lack of resources or funds, but in any investigation you want to make sure there is no bias," Jackson said.

The victim suffered a broken wrist, a knot to his forehead, abrasions on his right arm and back. He underwent surgery on Saturday. He is expected to recover.

Another boy riding on the handlebars managed to jump off the bike before the crash. He was not injured, according to reports.

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