Smyrna, GA – Smyrna Police Department (SPD) Officer Christopher Ewing was killed in the line of duty after a drunk driver crashed into his patrol vehicle on Monday night.
The 34-year-old officer was traveling along South Cobb Drive near Oak Drive at approximately 11 p.m. when a Chevrolet Tahoe slammed into him, WAGA reported.
The force of the impact sent Officer Ewing’s patrol vehicle into the parking lot of a nearby BP gas station, according to WSB.
The roof of the patrol car was entirely caved in after the collision, WAGA reported.
Firefighters had to cut into the mangled cruiser in order to extricate him, according to WSB.
Officer Ewing died of his injuries.
The driver of the SUV has been identified as 35-year-old Robert Lorenzo Cox, WSB reported.
Cox was transported to Kennestone Hospital to be treated for his injuries, according to WXIA.
He was subsequently booked into jail on charges of tampering with evidence, failure to yield, driving under the influence, and first-degree homicide by vehicle.
The Georgia State Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation into the fatal collision, WSB reported.
Officer Ewing served in the U.S. Air Force for 10 years prior to joining the SPD two years ago, and was still serving in the reserves at the time of his death, according to WXIA.
He recently applied to become a member of the department’s DUI task force, Smyrna Police Chief Joseph Bennett said.
Officer Ewing was also recently honored with a lifesaving award, WSB reported.
“Officer Ewing was a friend to all in the department and was a hard working Officer who [led] by example,” the SPD said in a Facebook post on Tuesday afternoon. “He was an Officer that when you called for backup you wanted to hear his voice on the radio saying he was heading your way.”
“His sense of humor and contagious smile will be greatly missed,” the post read. “Rest in Peace brother, we have the watch from here.”
Chief Bennett said the loss of Officer Ewing, a married father of three, can only be described as “devastating.”
“I was at Kennestone Hospital when the family arrived,” the chief said, holding back tears. “You can’t put it into words.”
Chief Bennett said he is focused on supporting Officer Ewing’s family now.
“Officer Ewing was an employee any police chief would like to have. He was mature. He was grounded. He had a very, very bright future,” the chief said, according to WSB. “I would ask to keep his family in your prayers.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Smyrna Police Department Officer Christopher Ewing, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.