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Injured officer set to leave hospital this week

LAWRENCEVILLE - A 32-year veteran Gwinnett police officer injured in a car accident Tuesday is expected to be released from an Atlanta hospital later this week, authorities said Wednesday.

Maj. Dan Branch was hospitalized following a crash on U.S. Highway 29 in Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman said the commander of the quality-of-life unit and former public information officer remains at Atlanta Medical Center in stable condition.

"He'll be fine," Spellman said. "He's expected to be released this week."

While unsure of Branch's exact injuries, Spellman said they were not severe.

"He's probably got some bruises and scratches, and I think he might have bumped his head," Spellman said.

Three vehicles were involved in the 3:33 p.m. accident on U.S. 29 near Ga. Highway 316, but no other injuries were reported.

Prior to the accident, Branch was driving north on U.S. 29 in an unmarked 2004 Chevrolet Impala behind two other vehicles, Spellman said.

Kharis Hillman, 24, of Lawrenceville stopped suddenly in a 2007 Toyota Yaris to make a left turn, causing the driver of a 1988 Jeep Camanche behind her, Steven Mincey, 43, of Winder to stop, according to Spellman.

Branch swerved to miss the two vehicles but clipped the Jeep. He then struck a steep embankment, causing his vehicle to flip over the U.S. 29 shoulder, Spellman said.

Branch was transported to Atlanta once he was freed from the accident scene, Spellman said.

According to Spellman, no charges have been filed in relation to the accident. She said investigators are working to determine who was at fault for the accident.