A Gwinnett County school resource officer is in the hospital on Wednesday after being struck just outside of the school while directing traffic.
Police say Gwinnett County School Resource Officer Rolando Jimenez was directing traffic outside Lanier High School inside a school zone when a car hit him at around 6:45 a.m.
Authorities say 22-year-old Sydney Smigiel failed to follow the officer's request to stop in the school zone. Both Smigiel and a second car driven by another student hit the officer.
"He was struck and thrown from the area. That vehicle then struck a second vehicle that was turning left into the school. That impact then caused that second vehicle to roll over the officer who was on the ground after being struck," said Cpl. Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Police say charges are pending against Smigiel, and add that the zone has a posted speed limit. Officer Jimenez wore a reflective traffic vest, making him clearly visible.
School officials say Jimenez was assigned to the school ever since it opened and has a close relationship with students and staff.
"He developed this relationship with students. Students know who the officers are, they know their name. They can come up to them. They trust them and they can talk to them. They have that relationship because they know the officer is there to help them, and protect them," said Gwinnett County School District spokesperson Jorge Quintana.
Police say the driver of the second car that rolled over the resource officer is a student of the school, and will not face charges.
Jimenez is an 11-year veteran of the Gwinnett County Schools Police Department, and is the school Resource Officer at Lanier High School. He was transported to Gwinnett County Medical Center, where he underwent surgery. He is listed in serious condition, say Gwinnett School officials.
The accident remains under investigation.
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