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DA forms case after Auburn cyclist hit by car

The News Courier: DA forms case after Auburn cyclist hit by car

Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn police say they know the driver who hit an avid bicyclist in August but the man hasn’t been charged because the victim is unable to speak and make his wishes known.

Auburn police believe Andrew M. Holland, 21, is responsible for hitting Ty Garner on the morning of Aug. 8, but he has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

However, Lee County District Attorney Nick Abbett tells the Opelika-Auburn News in a Saturday story that he plans to present a case against Holland during the next grand jury session in May.

Abbett says Holland could potentially be charged with reckless assault and felony leaving the scene of an accident.

Police Capt. Tom Stofer said Holland “has not been arrested or charged by us” because Garner, a physical therapist at Total Rehab in Auburn, has been unable to verbally share his wishes with anyone.

Garner’s wife, Karen, has told police she doesn’t believe her husband would want to take the young man to court even when he is able to talk, Stofer said.

Karen Garner said her husband will return to their Opelika home on Thursday after spending the past six months receiving treatment in various hospitals in Alabama and Georgia. She said he remains confined to a wheelchair, on a feeding tube and unable to verbally communicate.

Stofer said Abbett went to Auburn investigators with plans to take the case before a grand jury. Abbett said he also discussed his intentions with Ty Garner’s wife and brother.

Details about how the crash occurred or about the results of testing done by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences will not be released until after the grand jury session, Stofer said.

Holland’s blood was drawn after he returned to the scene of the accident about 50 minutes after it occurred.