An Elberta man died last Tuesday night, July 9, 2019 when the pickup he was driving Rear-ended a parked Orange Beach Police cruiser.
It happened on Perdido Beach Boulevard around 11:20. Police said two units were stopped in the center turn lane conducting a traffic stop at the time.
Alabama State Troopers are investigating the crash that killed 21-year-old Garrett Slaughter. Orange Beach Police said an officer spotted a pickup being driven by Slaughter speeding east on Perdido Beach Boulevard just before the collision.
“As he pulled out to initiate a traffic stop, the impact happened so he was around First Shell and the accident actually happened, I think right around the entrance to Ono Island Bridge…in that area. He didn’t even have time to really get out on the street to try and stop him,” explained Lt. Robert Howard with Orange Beach Police.
Police said two patrol cars were in the middle of conducting a traffic stop in the center turn lane with their emergency lights on. The car parked in the rear took the full force of the impact, sending it crashing into the cruiser in front of it. Both officers were outside of their cars at the time. The driver who was pulled over and a police K-9 were inside the second patrol car. Fortunately, none of them were injured. Police say Slaughter wasn’t wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.
“It’s a huge tragedy anybody lost their life last night. By the grace of God, we didn’t have three or four people lose their life last night,” Howard said. “Call it lucky. Call it whatever. If you ever question why there’s usually two vehicles…one may be edged out in the road a little on a traffic stop…last night was a perfect explanation of why we do that.”
Slaughter was well known in the Orange Beach fishing community. Since news of the accident spread, there’s been an outpouring of prayers for him and his family on social media. His friends said they’ll miss the good times they shared.
“Just fishing on the pier…we would catch all kinds of fish. I remember fishing in the pouring down rain, just catching king mackerels together and each other gaffing each other’s fish. I remember when he caught his first cobia off the pier. He was one heck of a fisherman. That’s for sure,” said long-time friend, Michael Sawyer.
A memorial service is being planned for Slaughter on the Gulf State Park Pier in coming days. Meanwhile, ALEA is investigating to try and find out why the crash happened.