MCDUFFIE COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) — The family of a local deputy is looking for the Good Samaritan who stayed with him after a horrific crash.

“A mom of deputies, you don’t sleep very well a lot of the time because you dread those phone calls,” said Shelley Simpkins, mother of Deputy Coty Clark. “But…I woke back up to a bunch of missed text messages and phone calls…”

Shelley Simpkins received a phone call in the middle of the night from her oldest son, Wesley.

“And so, I called him back,” she said. “And that’s when he proceeded to tell me about Coty.”

Last Thursday night, McDuffie County Deputy Coty Clark was helping a disabled commercial vehicle on I-20 when he was hit in his patrol car by an oncoming vehicle.

Deputy Clark’s mother says his car was knocked into an embankment and he couldn’t get out. His radio was also not working.

Someone stopped and got Deputy Clark out of his car. They stayed with him until EMS arrived.

“I’m so thankful that somebody stopped,” Shelley Simpkins said. “Because he was on I-20 and a lot of people could’ve stopped, but only one stopped. And I thank God that He sent that person.”

The driver who hit Deputy Clark said he had fallen asleep. He was given a citation for Georgia’s Move Over Law.

Robert Hydirck is the communications director at Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. 

“A first responder where there’s a police officer or a fire vehicle, EMS, public service…if you see them on the road in their official capacity, Georgia Law requires you, if it’s safe to do so, to move over to the other lane to travel or pass,” he said.

The law also says that, if you can’t move over, you must slow down.

“Just be mindful because that’s a high rate of speed that most people won’t survive,” said Simpkins.

Highway safety advocates encourage drivers who are tired to take a break.

“Cars can be replaced and repaired, but human lives…when someone is killed in a crash, they’re gone forever,” Hydrick said.

Deputy Clark’s mother is grateful that her son survived the incident and is now back home. And she hopes to find the Good Samaritan who helped him.

“I’m thankful that he chose to do what a lot of people wouldn’t do and do the right thing, the good thing. We don’t recognize that enough,” Simpkins said. “We hear all the bad stuff. But this one person needs to be recognized for doing good.”

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