NWGA Scanner | August 4th, 2022
According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, On July 14th, 2022, Trooper Cochran responded to a single-vehicle crash on Johnson Lake Road, south of SR 53 (Union Grove Rd). 2018 Chevrolet Malibu displaying an Ohio license plate of JDD3100 on its top in the ditch to the west side of the roadway with blood in the vehicle. According to the report, “It was found that a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu with Ohio tag being driven by Depres Peek Lazarius, 30, of Kingston, had been southbound on Johnson Lake Road negotiating a lefthand curve. The Malibu had left the west side of the roadway where it struck a county road sign on the shoulder of the roadway. After striking the sign, it continued southbound where it struck a ditch with its front-end causing the vehicle overturn onto its top. Peek had left the scene prior to the trooper arrival and had been picked up. Trooper Cochran reported, “As [I] was about to get in my patrol car to start a crash report, [I] was advised that the red truck that had picked up the driver of the crashed vehicle had just traveled northbound by the crash scene. [I] caught up to the red truck in question and conducted a traffic stop to see where the driver had been taken to. The driver of the truck stated he had picked up a male subject walking on Johnson Lake Road and had given him a ride to some apartments south of the crash scene.” Gordon County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Phillips and Sgt. Anderson and the trooper approached the apartment that Peek had gone into. Deputies and the trooper made contact with Peek and asked him if he had his identification. According to the report, “He stated that it was in the car that was wrecked.” Trooper Cochran reported, “[I] asked Peek what happened, and he stated, “I don’t know, curve, I’m not used to that curve”. As [I] spoke to Peek [I] noticed that his eyes were watery and bloodshot, and his speech was extremely slurred, slow, and mumbled. [I] also detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath as he spoke. [I] questioned Peek about how much he had drank that day and he stated that he had consumed one drink and that [I] could “breathalyze” him if [I] wanted to. He also stated that his driver’s license was valid. [I] returned to my patrol car to his license through G.C.I.C. which returned showing multiple suspensions. [I] questioned Mr. Peek again about his last drink of alcohol with him stating that it was two (2) years ago, before changing his statement to having a drink that day.” During Standardized Field Sobriety tests, Peek showed several signs of impairment and a BAC of 0.136 on a PBT. Peek was placed under arrest for DUI and agreed to the state test. Trooper Townsend transported Peek from the hospital to Gordon County Jail, where he was booked in on charges of failure to maintain a single lane, driving while license suspended, DUI – driving under the influence of alcohol, duty upon striking fixture, and duty upon striking unattended vehicle.