According to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 32-year-old Eduardo Gutierrez pled guilty to six charges and was sentenced to ten years in prison on Tuesday afternoon for a 2021 crash that seriously and permanently injured Duluth Police Officer Rickey Porter. The man’s vehicle struck Porter’s patrol SUV at the intersection of Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Abbotts Bridge Road in August. Gutierrez fled the scene, causing Porter to remain wounded and without aid in his vehicle for more than 16 minutes before someone called 911.
Gutierrez was identified as the driver after his fingerprints were found inside his abandoned truck at the scene. Video footage of the crash showed him running away after the crash. Among the charges Gutierrez pled guilty to include driving under the influence of alcohol and causing an accident that resulted in serious injury.
During Gutierrez’s sentencing hearing, Porter’s wife spoke about the brain injury that her husband continues to suffer from and how he is unable to remember the last fifteen years of his life. His condition changes nearly on a weekly basis, she noted, and his injuries have caused him to need to remain at a treatment facility, unable to come home. Mrs. Porter noted that the time that Porter waited before help was called cost her husband his career and her family’s life of normalcy. She added that she has returned to work full-time at this point, and functions as a single parent. Last year’s holiday season was particularly difficult, as her husband could not leave treatment and she could not see him on Christmas Day due to COVID-19 restrictions. She expects this holiday season to be lonely and difficult, as well.
In an instant, a careless or reckless driver can change the lives of an individual and their family forever. If you or someone you love have been seriously injured due to a drunk or negligent driver in Atlanta or the surrounding area, let an experienced car accident attorney from Cambre & Associates tell you about the legal process of seeking compensation for the expenses and impacts of the injury, as well as the services we can provide to assist you in that process. Contact us for a free case evaluation.