Off-Duty Officer Drunk In Wrong-Way Crash
An off-duty Atlanta police officer was allegedly drunk and driving the wrong way on I-85 before daybreak Thursday when his vehicle was hit by a southbound Greyhound bus, DeKalb County police said. DeKalb police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said police got a report about 4:45 a.m. of a wrong-way driver traveling north in the southbound lanes of I-85 near Spaghetti Junction.
An off-duty DeKalb officer spotted the vehicle stopped the wrong way in the travel lanes between Northcrest and Pleasantdale roads, but before officers could get to the vehicle, the bus loaded with passengers struck the wrong-way vehicle, Parish said. Parish identified the wrong-way driver as Atlanta police Officer Christopher J. Niezurawski.
Niezurawski was charged with DUI, reckless driving and operating vehicle the wrong way, Parish said. She said Niezurawski was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with “visible head injuries.” Later in the day, Atlanta Police officials said he’d been treated and released with minor injuries.
There were no injuries on the bus, which was headed to Atlanta from Virginia.The bus sustained minor damage in the collision, which blocked several lanes of the interstate for about an hour. Niezurawski has been relieved from duty with pay, pending an internal investigation by the Atlanta Police Department’s office of professional standards, Atlanta police spokesman Carlos Campos said.
Atlanta police spokeswoman Kim Jones said Niezurawski has been with the department since June, 2004, and is assigned to the Special Operations Section/Motor Unit as a motorcycle officer. Atlanta police have not said what actions might be taken against the officer following Thursday’s accident.
Last April, Niezurawski was injured when his motorcycle was struck by another motorist on Centennial Olympic Park Drive. He was released from Grady Memorial Hospital after a couple of days.
Wow. So they’re letting him still get paid after this fawkery. SMH.