A Forsyth County sheriff’s deputy, severely injured in the line of duty by a suspected drunk driver, is out of the hospital and back at home.
Hundreds of thousands of people have reached out to 11Alive worried about him and offering well wishes and prayers.
Now, 11Alive has more about the injured deputy - and a warning for those who drive under the influence.
The deputy, one of the latest casualties in the 100-plus-year war against people who drive under the influence, came home from the hospital during the Thanksgiving weekend.
And Forsyth County Sheriff’s Deputy Rod Reeves and his family are definitely thankful. Managing a smile with his wife, Megan, next to him, Reeves still faces months of rehabilitation and healing.
It was the weekend before last when Deputy Reeves was on-duty on Georgia 400, on the lookout for drivers under the influence, when a suspected drunk driver rammed him.
Sheriff Ron Freeman is angry - and long-past exasperated - that people still insist on driving under the influence.
Sheriff Freeman, on Friday, wrote on Facebook that DUI is a “plague” in Forsyth County and that every month, on average, there are “nearly 60 or so DUIs in the most affluent and highly-educated county in the state of Georgia.”
“We are better than this,” he said, adding that they will be “drastically increasing our DUI patrols through the holidays.”
And he warned that the department will leave no room for excuses for those caught taking these reckless chances on the road.
“We will likely catch you,” Sheriff Freeman said. “There is no such thing as a DUI warning.”
The same weekend when Deputy Reeves was injured, an Alpharetta police officer, Dustin Bak, was driving home in his cruiser on the same highway in Forsyth County when a suspected drunk driver rear-ended him.
Officer Bak is OK.
His cruiser's rear-facing camera shows the suspected drunk driver just ramming into him - causing major damage to both vehicles.
There seems to be no end to DUIs.
Sheriff Freeman’s latest post on Facebook, on Saturday, shows just how prevalent this problem is.
“Just like that, four drivers chose the hard way and got to spend the night in the Freeman hotel,” he said. “Not a pleasant destination.”
As for Deputy Reeves, the community is raising money to help him through his recovery, by donating to the Badge Foundation that supports law enforcement officers in Forsyth County. Meanwhile, thousands of people have shared well-wishes with Reeves on 11Alive’s Facebook page. And children are sending him their hand-made get-well notes.
“Reeves, I hope you get better,” wrote one child, in crayon, and another child wrote, “I hope this card will take the pain away.”