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Prior calls for help from stranded driver in fatal cop accident under investigation

2:02 PM, Nov 15, 2012   |    comments
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MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- Henry County police say they are investigating claims from a local tow truck company that a deadly hit-and-run accident may have involved a man who claimed he ran out of gas many times before.

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Amanda McCallister works for one of the biggest tow truck companies in Henry County.

She says the man who called for roadside assistance Monday night on Highway 138, Gordon Garrett, made the same claims to her company five times within a week last month. On Monday night Henry County Police Officer Elgin Daniel was killed assisting Jarrett on the side of the highway.

"This guy called us out four times to bring him gas. Each time he wrote a check that later bounced," said McCallister "If he was pulling the same scam the night that officer died, he's as much to blame as the hit-and-run driver."

Police confirm Gordon Jarrett called his insurance company and said he was stranded because he had run out of gas the night Officer Daniel was killed.

A roadside assistance worker responded to bring him gas.  Henry County Police Officer Elgin Daniel also pulled up and activated his patrol lights to assist. Both of them were hit by a car while helping Jarrett.

At his Stockbridge apartment Wednesday night, Jarrett told 11Alive's Kevin Rowson that he was sorry about the officer's death.

He was questioned about the prior calls for assistance that he made.

Rowson: "How did this happen for days in a row?

Jarrett: "I don't know." 

Rowson: And it happened on (Highway) 138 every time?

Jarrett: "Yeah."

Rowson: "And you called the same towing company and they said you wrote them bad checks?"

Jarrett: "No comment."

The news about Jarrett's history with calling for roadside assistance caused more consternation for Officer Daniel's family. "This has turned out to be such a senseless tragedy that could have possibly been avoided all the way around," said Edward Daniel, the officer's brother.

Henry County Police Major Jason Bolton told 11Alive News he asked his investigators to gather information on Jarrett's actions. He said once that investigation is complete, it will be presented to the District Attorney to determine if Jarret committed a crime. As of Thursday morning, the department had found no reports of criminal activity.

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