UPDATE: Buford Woman Facing Charges in Connection With Accident That Injured SRO

Officer was directing traffic at Lanier High School.

Updated Feb. 13 at 2:45 p.m.

SUGAR HILL, Ga. - A Gwinnett County School Police Resource officer was seriously injured as a result of being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic Wednesday morning at Lanier High School.

According to Gwinnett County Police Department public information officer Cpl. Ed Ritter, the accident occurred at approximately 6:45 a.m.

"The officer suffered serious injuries and was transported to a local hospital for treatment," Ritter wrote in an email to media outlets. School Resource Officer (SRO) Ronaldo Jimenez remained hospitalized in serious condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

Police say 22-year-old Sydney Smigiel of Buford was traveling southbound on Buford Highway in a white 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. SRO Jimenez was directing traffic at the entrance to Lanier High School and signaled for southbound traffic to stop and began directing northbound vehicles in the left turn lane to turn left into the school.

"Ms. Smigiel failed to obey Officer Jimenez’s direction to stop and struck Officer Jimenez as the other vehicles were turning left," Ritter said in a released statement. "Officer Jimenez went airborn and landed in the left turn lane for the high school. Ms. Smigiel then struck a vehicle turning left head on and pushed that vehicle onto Officer Jimenez."

The other vehicle, a red 2012 Ford Focus, was driven by a 17-year-old Lanier High School student.

The Gwinnett County Police Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the accident. Ritter indicated Smigiel, at a minimum, faces charges of failing the officer's traffic directions.

"At the time of the accident, Officer Jimenez was wearing a reflective traffic vest and was using a flashlight with a bright orange traffic wand. His patrol car was also on the side of the road with the emergency lights flashing," Ritter added.

Lanier High School is located at 918 Buford Highway in Sugar Hill.


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