PCB Police Officer Recovering After DUI Wrong Way Crash

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PANAMA CITY BEACH- Panama City Beach Police Captain Ron Crowson is recovering from leg surgery at Bay Medical Sacred Heart.

"He's still in a lot of pain, but his spirits are still high and ready to come back to work but that will be a little way out of the road for him," Drew Whitman, Panama City Beach Police Chief, said.

About 1 o'clock Sunday morning, Crowson was directing traffic around a crash site on Back Beach Road near Hills Road.

Crowson and one of the drivers, Royce Kershaw of Destin, were standing by the wrecker when a driver, heading the wrong way, slammed into the car then hit Crowson and Kershaw.

Investigators say the driver, 29 year old Richard Allen Johns was driving under the influence.

He's facing several counts including DUI with serious bodily injury.

A judge has set at $32,500.

Crowson and Kershaw wound-up in the hospital.

Crowson is the first beach police officer to take a direct hit during a traffic stop.

"Doing traffic stops is very dangerous for a police officer because you’re out there in the middle of the road especially a highway like Back Beach Road," Whitman said.

Crowson, who's been a beach police officer for 31 years, just announced his retirement.

"He turned in his retirement paper in about a month, month and a half ago. He's scheduled to retire on June 4th. This is the way we didn't want him to go out. We wanted him to be here working with us, but hopefully he can come back by the end of next month and beginning of June so he can go out in his office instead of sick duty," Whitman said.


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