***UPDATED At 5:53 P.M. on Friday, May 17th***
Richmond County Richard Roundtree has released the following statement on the passing of Deputy Alton Creech:
“It is with great sadness that the Richmond County Sheriff's Office is announcing the passing of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech. Deputy Creech succumbed to his injuries sustained from the traffic accident he was involved in yesterday at Belair Road and I-20. At 1615hours doctors at GRU advised that Deputy Creech showed no signs of brain activity. Deputy Creech had been employed with the Sheriff's Office since August 2003. During his tenure at the Sheriff's Office he worked on the Road Patrol, Criminal Investigations and his most recent assignment was Motors in the Traffic Division.
The family is keeping Deputy Creech on a respirator in an effort to allow any deputies and loved ones to pay their respects to Deputy Creech. A vigil will be held at 9pm in the parking lot in front of the GRU Emergency Room and at that time final arrangements will be completed. Deputy Creech will be greatly missed by his fellow Law Enforcement family. Please keep Deputy Creech's family and loved ones in your prayers and we ask that you respect their need for privacy during this tragic time.”
***UPDATED At 5:11 P.M. on Friday, May 17th***
WJBF News Channel 6 has learned a Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputy that was critically injured in a Thursday evening motorcycle crash on I-20 near Belair Road in Columbia County has died.
Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins confirms that Deputy Alton Creech passed away at 4:15 p.m. Friday afternoon at Georgia Regents Medical Center.
We will continue to follow this developing story and provide more information as it becomes available.
***POSTED At 12:08 P.M. on Friday, May 17th***
Deputy Alton Creech is a Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputy and works in motor patrol. He has been with the Sheriff's Office for more than a decade.
Investigators say Deputy Creech, 32, crashed his personal motorcycle Thursday afternoon on I-20 westbound near Belair Road. He was reportedly off-duty at the time of the wreck.
Those who know him say he loves his church, his job, and motorcycles, and hope he makes a full recovery.
“Alton is a man of character and integrity. He was a good faithfully guy and loved his wife dearly, and still does. He was a good man, and real,” says Pastor Kevin Steele, of National Hills Baptist Church.
Columbia County investigators are handling the investigation and, at this time, there are still some unanswered questions…as to who was at fault in the wreck.
As of noon Friday, hospital staff members say Deputy Creech is still in critical condition.
A vigil was held near the hospital Thursday night and Deputy Creech's brother tells us planning is underway for a motorcycle vigil near the hospital at 7:00 p.m. Friday night.
We'll continue to give you updates as they become available.