The driver who struck a Macon-Bibb County firefighter on Interstate 75 in July was traveling at a minimum 65 mph, the posted speed limit, when he swerved and braked to avoid striking a patrol car, according to an arrest warrant released Monday.
The driver, 18-year-old Nayef Mohammad Al-Shroof of Warner Robins, turned himself in to Bibb County deputies just before noon, not long after three warrants were issued for his arrest, according to the Bibb County Sheriffs Office.
Al-Shroof was charged with serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and violation of the Georgia Move Over Law. He was granted a $10,200 bond Monday after a hearing in Bibb County Magistrate Court.
Arrest warrants allege Al-Shroof was driving a 2009 Toyota Camry headed north in the left lane of I-75 near Sardis Church Road about 9:40 a.m. July 11. Up ahead, deputies and firefighters were clearing a wreck and their vehicles were parked in the same lane. Emergency lights were flashing.
The accident scene was visible for at least a mile, according to the warrants.
At the last moment, Al-Shroof swerved left into the emergency lane and braked in an effort to avoid hitting a patrol car. He struck Macon-Bibb County Fire Sgt. Eric John instead, causing him to be thrown into the interstates southbound lanes, according to the warrants.
Al-Shroof told an investigator he momentarily lost focus from driving due to several things on his mind, according to a sheriffs office accident report.
John is listed in critical, but stable condition, at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, according to a sheriffs office news release.
Fire Chief Marvin Riggins said John has been kept in an induced coma because of his injuries, which include broken bones and internal injuries. He is now being allowed to regain more consciousness, but cant speak due to respiratory aids.
Its apparent hes recognizing people he knows, Riggins said. Hes looking much better.
During Mondays Magistrate Court hearing, prosecutor John Regan requested that Al-Shroof be banned from driving as a condition of his bond.
He also asked Al-Shroof be outfitted with a GPS device and confined to house arrest with exceptions of his attending classes at Mercer University, where he is a student, and attending religious services.
Larry Fouche, Al-Shroofs lawyer, argued the GPS monitor isnt needed because Al-Shroof hasnt shown any sign that he would flee.
Magistrate Barbara Harris granted Regans requests banning Al-Shroof from driving and ordered he be confined to house arrest with the GPS device.
He also cant have any weapons or have contact with the injured firefighter or Johns family.
After the hearing, Fouche said he had just started work on the case and reserved further comment.
District Attorney David Cooke said more than a month passed without criminal charges being filed because of a continuing investigation.
We wanted to make sure we did this right, he said.
If convicted, Al-Shroof could face a maximum 15 years in prison, Cooke said.
We take the safety of all law enforcement officers and firefighters very serious, he said.
Staff writer Harold Goodridge contributed to this report. Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.