While on a busy interstate highway, a police officer in Gwinnett County, Georgia was too busy watching a Grand Theft Auto playthrough on YouTube to pay attention to the road, ultimately causing a terrible crash.
The officer, Todd Ramsey, wasn’t injured, but the woman that he hit nearly died and ended up in a coma as a result of the crash.
According to WJCL, the officer was going nearly 70 mph in stop-and-go traffic during rush hour on I-85.
When other officers arrived on the scene, it was hard for them to cover for their “brother in blue” because he couldn’t give them any details about the incident or even describe the car that he hit. “Do you know what car it is? He says he doesn’t know,” one of the officers can be heard saying in body camera footage.
The victim of the crash, Sarah Wood, says she was only going about 6 mph in rush hour traffic when she was rear-ended by a speeding vehicle. “I was sitting in traffic and pretty much next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital. I don’t remember anything after that,” Wood explained.
Ramsey was going so fast when he crashed into the back of her car, that items from her trunk ended up inside of the police car.
Wood’s attorney, Susan Witt said that it was obvious that the officer was not paying attention to the road. “I don’t believe there was any attempt to stop or swerve because he didn’t see her because he wasn’t looking,” Witt said.
Wood spent four weeks in a coma after the crash, and can no longer work because of a traumatic brain injury caused by the crash.
After the incident, the Gwinnett County Police Department opened an internal investigation to determine the cause of the crash and found that Ramsey had multiple browser screens open at the time. In the moments leading up to the crash, a YouTube video of the game Grand Theft Auto was displayed on the screen.
Ramsey denied these claims, saying instead that he was having a problem with his contact lenses.
Local news channel WSBTV, filed an open records request for Ramsey’s disciplinary records and discovered that the officer was at fault in 8 other accidents that took place while he was on duty. Ramsey suffered no legal consequences for his actions, but he was demoted from master police officer to police officer senior six months after the crash. He was also reassigned and “prohibited from driving or operating a Gwinnett County vehicle for any reason.”
However, Wood’s attorney doesn’t think that Ramsey should be absolved from legal responsibility just because he’s a police officer.
“I don’t want to call this an accident. This wasn’t an accident; this was a serious collision that should of and could have been avoided. I don’t understand why these officers should be exempt from adhering to the rules that apply to everyone else,” Witt said.