Driver charged with running red light in collision with fire chief

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

The Tuesday morning vehicular collision that severely injured Griffin Fire-Rescue Chief John Hamilton resulted from a driver running a red light, police say.

According to Officer Scott Collum, of the Griffin Police Department Uniform Patrol Division, 22-year-old Jerry Anya Oruada, of Hampton, was driving a 2006 Honda Civic eastbound on Taylor Street as Hamilton was crossing Taylor Street at its intersection with 16th Street.

Hamilton, an avid bicyclist, was crossing the roadway in the crosswalk when he was struck.

“I made contact with (Oruada) who claimed he was traveling eastbound on Taylor Street in the middle lane which is a straight travel lane,” Collum reported. “He also claimed he had the green light. (Oruada) stated the victim rode his bike out into the street. (Oruada) said he attempted to avoid the victim but could not react fast enough to avoid hitting him and struck the victim.”

Another motorist who witnessed the collision, who was not identified by Collum, was travelling westbound on Taylor Street and reported his light was red but said he was uncertain what color the light was for Oruada.

Collum’s review of available evidence resulted in citations against Oruada.

“I viewed the area and identified the following evidence. The victim and helmet was located almost center of the roadway which would indicated that the victim was struck almost at the halfway point of the crosswalk (sic all). I checked the light pattern of the traffic control devices and if there are no vehicles in the turn lanes then both east and westbound traffic light turn red and green at the same time,” Collum said. “I reviewed camera footage from Chick-fil-A which is located at that intersection. Two of the cameras show the traffic control device that directs (Oruada’s) lane being red at the time of the collision. It also indicates that there are no vehicles in the east or westbound turn lanes and shows traffic in the westbound lane stopped.”

Oruada was cited for failure to obey a traffic control device and failure to yield the right of way in a crosswalk.

Hamilton was transported to the Trauma Unit of Atlanta Medical Center, where he remains hospitalized. Chief Hamilton, who sustained multiple fractures in the collision, underwent surgery Tuesday.

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