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Public defender recovering after scooter wreck
Report: Truck pulled into Morris path
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Northeastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender Brad Morris remained in critical but stable condition at an Atlanta hospital last week after his scooter collided with an employee’s truck that swerved into his path.


Public Defender Investigator Tony Cantrell told police that he lost control of his northbound 2007 Toyota Tocoma near the Dairy Queen on Ronnie Green Parkway in Gainesville after an unidentified motorist unexpectedly pulled a car into the middle turn lane.


According to an initial accident report filed by Gainesville police Wednesday, Cantrell said he swerved out of the middle lane to avoid hitting the car, which was exiting the parking lot of Riverside Pharmacy.


Cantrell’s truck then veered back into the southbound lane and into the path of Morris’ Yamaha Vino scooter at the entrance to the Dairy Queen, according to the report.


Morris, 62, broke both legs, an arm and his pelvis after colliding with the left front of the truck and striking the windshield. He was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital soon after the May 19 accident.


Nicki Vaughan, a chief assistant in the public defender’s office, said Morris had surgery the night of the accident but that internal injuries were minimal. He remained in Grady’s intensive care unit, where doctors wanted to monitor his condition for 24 hours before performing orthopedic surgery, Vaughan said.


The driver of the white car described by Cantrell was not located. Lt. Brian Kelly said the accident investigation was not complete, but that the crash was being investigated as a two-vehicle accident.


Possible traffic citations related to the accident are pending, according to the accident report. The report lists failure to yield by Cantrell as a contributing factor.


Morris heads up the publicly funded office that represents the majority of felony criminal defendants in Dawson and Hall counties. He was reappointed to a four-year term as Circuit Public Defender in May 2008.