Investigation in FCSO Deputy’s Death Continues

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

There isn’t much to go on, but the investigation into the tragic death of Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy Cruz Thomas will continue, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

26-year old Thomas was killed Wednesday night on I-85 while in pursuit of a traffic violator.   Thomas, the son of Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas, lost control of his cruiser when an 18-wheeler suddenly changed lanes in front of him as he attempted to catch a speeding motorist.  Thomas’ vehicle left the road and eventually struck a tree.   He died at the scene.

Witnesses told Georgia State Patrol troopers after the 18-wheeler hit officer Thomas’ vehicle, it kept going and Toccoa Post commander Sgt. First Class Al Whitworth says that hasn’t given his officers much to go on.

“Unfortunately, all they could provide was that it was a box trailer,” Whitworth said. “They did not get a tag number so we don’t have much to go on, but the investigation does continue in other ways.”

Those other ways Whitworth said include the efforts of the GSP’s accident reconstruction team.

“Troopers from the Post in Toccoa, along with the GSP Specialized Accident Reconstruction Team are continuing to investigate, but with the only description being a box truck, it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack at this point.” 

Whitworth said troopers from Post 7 along with law enforcement from across the State have offered their services to help the county and the Sheriff’s department with whatever it might need over the next several days.

“We’re providing any services they need,” he said. “Right now, it’s an emotional time for my troopers at the Post but these guys at Franklin County worked with him every day. Right now, our number one priority is to provide as much support as possible for the Sheriff’s department.” 

The shock of Thomas’ death, a former Franklin County dispatcher, was too much for some Franklin County 911 dispatchers overnight Wednesday.  Whitworth said several of his troopers from Post 7 took over dispatch operations so the regular dispatchers could go home.

Anyone with information regarding the tractor-trailer that caused the fatal wreck Wednesday is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-384-2525 or your local 911.  You do not have to give your name.