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Drunken son crashes county truck

The son of a Screven County Sheriff’s Department investigator wrecked his father’s county pickup truck and was charged with drunken driving.

James Allen Crockett, 30, was charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane in the accident at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 in Millen. The 1991 Chevrolet S10, assigned to Crockett’s father, sheriff’s investigator Bill Crockett, struck a tree near the intersection of Buckhead Road and Williams Avenue.

The elder Crockett paid nearly $1,000 to have the truck repaired and it will be back in service later this week, said Sheriff Mike Kile. The sheriff said the truck, which was donated to the sheriff’s department by an area business, had a lot of miles on it and he’d be surprised if it was worth $1,000. “Insurance would have totaled it, I’m sure,” Kile said.

The elder Crockett drives the truck to and from work every day and on sheriff’s department business.

“The Screven County taxpayer is not going to pay for Bill’s mistake or the boy’s mistake,” Kile said. “Thank God no one was hurt.”

Kile said the investigator will be suspended for letting his son drive the county vehicle, but details such as how long the suspension will be had not yet been determined. “He made an error in judgment,” Kile said of Bill Crockett. “He should not have done it. He’s going to pay the price accordingly.”

The accident report from the City of Millen quoted the son as saying a dog ran in front of the truck, causing him to swerve, cross the center lane and run off the road, striking a tree on the wrong side of the road.

In an earlier case in Screven County, the Georgia State Patrol charged James Allen Crockett, on Dec. 29, with driving under the influence of alcohol, failure to maintain lane and driving without a license.

The elder Crockett was on vacation this week and could not be reached for comment. Kile said the father and son live together in Jenkins County, about 10 miles from where the accident with the pickup truck occurred.