Deputy Sheriff Cruz Thomas
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia
End of Watch: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Tour of Duty: Not available
Badge Number: Not available
Cause of Death: Automobile accident
Date of Incident: May 21, 2014
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available
Agency Contact Information
Sheriff Stevie Thomas
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
1 James Little Street
Carnesville, GA 30521
Phone: (706) 384-2525
Deputy Sheriff Cruz Thomas was killed in a vehicle crash on I-85 while attempting to catch a traffic violator at approximately 9:00 pm.
A tractor trailer traveling in the same direction attempted to change lanes, causing Deputy Thomas’ vehicle to leave the highway, overturn, and strike several trees. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputy Cruz’s father serves as the sheriff of Franklin County. Deputy Cruz also served with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
FRANKLIN COUNTY — A Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy, who is the sheriff’s son, was killed in a wreck Wednesday night on Interstate 85 in Georgia.
Franklin County sheriff’s deputy Cruz Thomas was killed in a wreck at 8:50 p.m. Wednesday when his patrol car went down an embankment on Interstate 85, overturned and crashed into several trees, said Georgia State Patrol Post 7 Commander, Sgt. First Class Al Whitworth.
The wreck occurred at around mile marker 163 on the northbound side of Interstate 85.
Thomas was traveling northbound in the inside lane in an attempt to catch up with a vehicle that had committed a traffic violation.
While Thomas was in pursuit, a tractor trailer attempted to change lanes in front of Thomas. Thomas swerved into the grassy median to avoid the potential collision. At that point, Thomas lost control of the patrol car. The car crossed both northbound lanes of traffic and then went off the embankment, Whitworth said.
“The car traveled down an embankment and struck several trees while overturning,” Whitworth said.
During the crash, Thomas was thrown from the patrol car, Whitworth said. He died at the scene. Thomas was 26 years old.
Investigators are still trying to determine who Thomas was pursing and what was the possible traffic violation. Authorities do not know who was driving the tractor trailer that attempted to change lanes on the interstate, just before the crash.
Whitworth said the Georgia State Patrol’s accident reconstruction team and troopers with the patrol’s Toccoa post are handling the investigation.
Thomas was the son to Franklin County Sheriff Steve Thomas, the county’s coroner, David Pressley said.
He worked for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Whitworth said. Thomas was also a former radio operator for the Georgia State Patrol and worked at the patrol’s posts in Toccoa and Gainesville.
Thomas is survived by his parents, his sister and his infant daughter, Whitworth said.