CARNESVILLE - The Georgia State Patrol has confirmed that Franklin County Deputy Sheriff Cruz Thomas, son of Sheriff Stevie Thomas, died in a patrol car crash on Interstate 85 Wednesday night.
"He was a deputy with Franklin County, and he is the son of Sheriff Stevie Thomas," said Sgt. 1st Class Al Whitworth of Georgia State Patrol Post 7 in Toccoa.
Whitworth provided basic details of the incident.
"Best we can tell right now, he was northbound on I-85 attempting to catch up with a traffic violator and an unknown tractor-trailer attempted to change lanes in front of him, causing him to travel into the grass median and lose control," Whitworth said.
"The patrol car proceeded to travel back across both northbound lanes, off the roadway, struck a tree, overturned, and ejected Deputy Thomas," Whitworth said. "He was pronounced dead on the scene."
Whitworth confirmed Thomas formerly was a radio operator with GSP, and was also a deputy with Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
"Right now, State Troopers - due to the emotional thing that's going on in Franklin County - will be assisting Franklin County with its calls throughout the night and then for the next few days," Whitworth said.