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Suspected drunk drivers strike two law enforcement vehicles within hours of each other
Forsyth deputy seriously injured in second wreck
deputy wreck
Courtesy Forsyth County Sheriffs Office

Two suspected drunk drivers are accused of wrecking two separate law enforcement officials’ vehicles within three and a half hours of each other Friday night into Saturday.

Around 10:05 p.m. Nov. 17, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office DUI taskforce responded to a crash on Ga. 400 northbound by Exit 14/Highway 20 in reference to a driver who hit an Alpharetta Police Department officer, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

Joseph Gipe
“The officer, who was driving a marked Alpharetta police car, was rear-ended while traveling northbound on 400,” Rainwater said. “The [officer] was not parked or stopped on the road and when the sheriff’s office arrived on scene, we arrested Joseph Amadeus Gipe, 25, of Cumming, for driving under the influence. He was also charged with following too closely and too fast for conditions.”

According to court records, Gipe previously pleaded guilty to DUI and speeding in excess and was previously found guilty of driving while having a license suspended or revoked and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.

He made a $5,800 cash bond on Saturday, Nov. 18.

Another driver, who deputies called a habitual offender, is accused of seriously injuring a Forsyth County deputy after striking the deputy’s vehicle shortly after 1 a.m. Nov. 18.

“Deputy First Class Rod Reeves was sitting in his marked patrol car on the shoulder of Ga. 400 working traffic enforcement when a 2005 Ford Explorer struck the rear of his patrol car,” Rainwater said. “Reeves received some very serious and significant injuries and was transported to an area hospital.

Rainwater identified the driver of the 2005 Ford Explorer has as 27-year-old Aaron Riley Russell, “who is suspected of being under the influence at the time of this crash. Russell was driving on a suspended and revoked Georgia Driver’s License and was currently considered a habitual violator. He was also taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries,” Rainwater said.

As of Monday, both Reeves and Russell remained in the hospital, though Rainwater said Reeves was doing “much better.”

“We have no timetable yet for when he can come home to his wife and three boys but it has been a very remarkable two days in terms of his recovery,” Rainwater said. “He had surgery [Monday] and is recovering well.”

Russell will be booked into the Forsyth County Jail once he is released from the hospital.