A drug-impaired Blackshear man was arrested Wednesday morning after he sped through the school zone at Wacona School — violating a traffic control deputy’s hand signal to stop — and slammed into an SUV, causing it to overturn and slightly injuring the driver, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Robert Lee Henderson, 36, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI drugs), disobeying an authorized person directing traffic and possession of a controlled substance (tramadol), said Royal.
He was taken to the Ware County jail where he remained this morning.
The SUV driver, Julie Rigdon, 37, of Waycross, was slightly injured. Royal said she declined transport by ambulance but was taken by private vehicle to Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross to be examined for injuries.
Driving a 2000 GMC Sierra, Henderson was southbound approaching the school zone at Wacona on State Street and he was directed by the deputy to stop. Royal said a 2007 GMC Yukon driven by Rigdon was given the right-of-way by the deputy to turn left onto State Street. But Henderson revved his motor and sped through the school zone at a high speed, striking the Rigdon vehicle in the driver side door, Royal said. The Rigdon vehicle overturned onto its roof in the street.
Lawmen at the scene believed Henderson was impaired and tried to determine if he was drinking. The man failed to submit to blood tests and was immediately taken to the Ware County jail, said Royal.
Inside his vehicle, lawmen found pills that were not in a pill container, determined by the Poison Control Center to be tramadol, a pain medication.
Deputy Frankie Moran was directing school traffic when the 7:27 a.m. crash occurred. He was assisted at the scene by Deputy Brad Pittman. Georgia State Patrol Troopers J.A. Lee and Jerry Taylor took over the investigation which has not been completed, said Royal.