Crime

An officer was injured and the driver fled the scene. Now he’s been indicted.

A Gautier man was impaired by an illegal substance when he was involved in a hit-and-run incident that seriously injured a law enforcement officer in training, court records say.

A Jackson County grand jury indicted Justin Alan Nelson, 40, on charges of felony DUI and felony leaving the scene of the June 5, 2016, collision that left Zachary Daniel Russell suffering from fractured ribs, a fractured vertebrae and a brain bleed, records show.

Russell had been hired to work at the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department and was scheduled to begin law enforcement training classes days after the incident happened.

Russell was at a U.S. 90 red light in Ocean Springs when his car was rear-ended and crushed, trapping Russell inside.

When Ocean Springs police got to the scene, Nelson had already fled the scene.

Police arrested Nelson a short time later after he was spotted walking away from a nearby fast-food restaurant.

At the time of his initial arrest, Nelson was arrested on charges of felony DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, along with a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

The indictment did not identify the substance that allegedly impaired Nelson at the time of the accident.

Nelson has pleaded not guilty and is set to go trial Feb. 12. He is currently out of jail on a total bond of $50,000.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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