A Twiggs County sheriff's deputy was killed early this morning when his patrol car hit a fallen tree shortly after 1:30 a.m. on U.S. 80 near Turkey Creek.
Richard Daniels, 27, was pronounced dead of blunt head trauma at 2:15 a.m., said Twiggs County Coroner Harold Reece Jr.
"It was just a freak thing," Reece said.
Chief Deputy Billy Boney said the large tree fell near mile post 6 as Daniels was headed east down the highway. Investigators aren't sure whether the tree actually fell on Daniels' car or he happened upon it past the crest of the hill on the dark stretch of road that dips down toward the bridge. He died at the scene.
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Daniels had been on the force for three years and leaves behind a wife and infant daughter, Boney said.
"It's all in the family down here, so it's tough," said Boney, who responded to the scene shortly after the accident.
Come back to macon.com for updates on this story or read Thursday's Telegraph.