WALTON COUNTY, Ga. -- By all accounts, 27-year-old Robert Christopher Matt had an exemplary record during his 4 years with the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office.

But he's now out of a job thanks to allegedly running from a DUI wreck involving his patrol car and a girlfriend.

"It's just not him, as far as I know; I mean, you know, he was such a good boy," next door neighbor Virlyn Herren told 11Alive News.

Herren said Matt was a Marine Corps veteran and a good neighbor.

"I've never seen him drink a bit, so this is a surprise to me," Herren added.

Chris Matt was driving a sheriff department cruiser when he apparently lost control of it on Highway 81 near Bethlehem, GA just after 1 am Wednesday.

It ran off the road, hit an embankment and flipped several times.
But when investigators and rescue crews got to the wreck, Matt had vanished.

"When first responders arrived on the scene, they found no one with the vehicle and a search was underway to try and locate the driver," said Gordy Wright of the Georgia State Patrol, who is handling the investigation.

Responders did find 27-year-old Katie Lynn of Lawrenceville wandering along the road near the scene.

The GSP said she had been a passenger in the patrol car and the Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department identified her as Deputy Matt's girlfriend.

The GSP said Lynn was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

Troopers soon located the deputy at his home about 5 miles away.

They charged him with DUI, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Maintain Lane and having an Open Alcohol Container in a Vehicle.

He posted out of the Walton County Jail on bond later Wednesday morning.

Gwinnett County Chief Deputy Mike Boyd told 11Alive that Matt was allowed to take his patrol car home, but was not authorized to drive it off duty.

Sheriff Butch Conway issued a written statement saying Matt had resigned.

Conway said he was "highly disappointed in the actions of Deputy Matt, who until this incident, had a good work record with several commendations that included...saving an inmate's life who attempted suicide."

11Alive could not reach Chris Matt for comment and no one answered the door at his home.

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