The Atlanta DUI News Blog

Drunken Driver Slams Into Police Car, Causing Serious Injuries

An Atlanta police officer ended up in the hospital this weekend after an alleged drunken driver plowed into his patrol car.

Officer Osbert Beckles suffered head and chest injuries and multiple broken bones in the crash. Scott Eugene Welker is now facing a whole slew of charges, including DUI and serious injury by vehicle, Channel 2 Action News reports.

Beckles was on traffic patrol in northwest Atlanta late Friday night when the accident took place. As the officer headed onto an I-75 exit ramp near Northside Parkway, a 2011 Hyundai Sonata slammed into his cruiser.

Welker reportedly got out of his car and fled the scene on foot. Police caught up to him a short time later and took him into custody, according to authorities.

The accident was so bad that Beckles was reportedly trapped in his squad car. He was extricated from the wreck and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment. Although he suffered serious head and chest injuries and multiple broken bones, the officer is expected to recover.

According to authorities, Welker was likely drunk at the time of the accident. He's now facing charges of DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failure to maintain his lane, improper lane change, and serious injury by vehicle.

As the name implies, serious injury by vehicle applies when a driver causes an accident that leaves another person permanently maimed, disfigured, or brain-damaged. If convicted, Welker could spend up to 14 years in prison for that charge alone.

The accident is reminiscent of a similar incident that took place a year ago this month. Atlanta Police Officer Gail Thomas was killed when a suspected drunken driver crashed into her patrol car on an I-75 exit ramp.

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