Lilburn police officer struck by hit-and-run driver

LILBURN - A Lilburn police officer was injured when a hit-and-run driver struck him on the side of a road early Friday morning, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

Meanwhile, the unknown driver is still at large.

Officer Matthew Lake was struck about 12:30 a.m. on Arcado Road near Bowers Pointe Drive, which is in Lilburn, said Darren Moloney, spokesman for the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Gwinnett police's Accident Investigation Unit was called in to investigate the hit-and-run.

"The officer was tossed into the air and landed onto the rear of his own patrol car, crashing through the rear window and landing inside the rear seat," Moloney said.

Lake suffered severe bruising and minor scrapes but did not break any bones, Moloney said.

He was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center where he was treated and released.

As for the incident, Moloney said Lake stopped his vehicle on the side of the road after noticing debris on the roadway.

Despite the fact that Lake's emergency blue lights were flashing, the unknown driver failed to yield while driving east on Arcado and struck the 26-year-old policeman while he was in the roadway, Moloney said.

Lake is on paid leave due to the injury, said Lilburn police spokesman Sgt. Tyler Thomas, who urges drivers to obey Georgia's Move Over Law.

"(The law) requires drivers to move over a lane to distance themselves from an emergency vehicle with its lights illuminated," Thomas said.

"If a lane change isn't safe or possible, the law requires that drivers slow to a reasonable speed which is less than the posted speed limit and be fully prepared to stop. Violators are subject to a $500 fine."

Moloney said the unknown driver was in a small, dark passenger car. The vehicle has damage to the right front bumper area and possible damage to the right front quarter panel.

If arrested, the driver is facing multiple criminal charges, Moloney said.

Anyone with information leading to the arrest of the unknown driver is asked to call the police.