Police: Student struck by drunk driver not brain dead

Emma Collins

Nick Ward, a student who was hit by a drunk driver Thursday night, is not brain dead and there may still be hope, Georgia State Patrol confirmed this morning.

“We did receive some good news yesterday. Mr. Ward isn’t brain dead. He may have brain damage, but he is not brain dead. At this point, he’s not getting any better, but he’s not getting any worse,” Trooper First Class Hutchison, investigator in charge of the accident, said.

A drunk driver on Georgia Avenue struck Ward on Thursday night.

The driver of the vehicle is being charged with DUI, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Open Container, with more charges pending.

“Mr. Ward appears to have made contact with the windshield. We believe he was knocked into the tree-line and then run over by the vehicle,” Hutchinson said.

“We are not sure of exactly what happened, but we do know that the vehicle left the roadway in the curve and went straight into the wood-line,” Hutchison said.

Ward remains in a coma, Hutchinson said.

“Basically, if Mr. Ward doesn’t make it, more charges will come,” Hutchinson said. “Serious Injury From Vehicle is a felony — it will all be based on the investigation.”

The Georgia Southern Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team is being called in to take over the investigation, Hutchinson said.

SCRT is a team of specialized investigators who are equipped with the latest technology to investigate crimes of these nature, according to Georgia Department of Public Safety website.

Hutchinson said, “At this point, we’re keeping him in our prayers and hoping for the best.”