Berkely County, South Carolina – The driver involved in the Saturday’s crash with Highway Patrol car that left one deputy injured was arrested and charged with DUI.
According to police report, the driver was identified as the 49-year-old Judd Novak of North Charleston and he is charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury.
The crash happened around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, August 14 when the 2017 Ford Explorer police vehicle crashed with 2017 Nissan van driven by the suspect.
Highway Patrol said the Nissan van traveling in the opposite direction of the police vehicle and attempted to make a left turn across University Boulevard onto Elms Plantation Boulevard when it collided with the deputy’s SUV.
At the time of the crash, the officer Joshua Whitmore was responding to a disturbance call involving firearms at the time and had his sirens and emergency lights activated.
Both drivers ended up trapped in their cars after the wreck and suffered injuries. As soon as the first responders arrived, they were transferred in hospital for treatment.
The deputy is suffering serious injuries and his is held at the Intensive Care Unit, but his condition is unknown at this point.
The suspect suffered minor injuries and he was discharged from hospital the same day. As soon as he left the hospital, he was arrested and jailed.
“This is the fifth time, recently, that a Berkeley County deputy has been injured in the line of duty by a drunk driver,” Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said in a statement.
“There is no excuse to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after you have been drinking. There are many options that would prevent the injury or death of an innocent motorist,” he said.
The bon hearing is set to take place today, Monday at 10 a.m.
The injured deputy has been with the police department since June 2021. The investigation about the case is still ongoing.
We will update the story with more details when available.
UPDATE: A GoFundMe campaign has been started. All donations will be given to the officer’s family.