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GS officer killed in off-duty crash
Officers escorted Clemmons' body home from Savannah hospital on Monday; funeral is Thursday
GS Officer Tristan Michael Clemmons
GS Officer Tristan Michael Clemmons

A motorcycle accident Wednesday on Highway 67 took the life of an off-duty Georgia Southern University police officer.

GS Officer Tristan Michael Clemmons, 23, died Thursday at Memorial Health University Hospital in Savannah.

Around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, Clemmons was riding a motorcycle north on Highway 67 just north of its intersection with Burkhalter Road. He was in the left lane and a pickup truck was in the right lane, also traveling north, when the driver of the truck made a left turn as if he were attempting a U-turn, said Georgia State Patrol Post 45 Commander Chris Rhodewalt.

Clemmon's motorcycle struck the truck, he said.

First responders to the scene Wednesday said Clemmons was unconscious. A call was made to Air Evac, but weather prevented its flight, according to radio traffic overheard on police radio Wednesday.

GS officer crash
Law enforcement and EMT crews respond to an accident that involved a pickup truck and a motorcycle on Fair Road near Aspen Heights last Wednesday, Sept. 4. Riding the motorcycle, Georgia Southern University police Officer Tristan Clemmons was fatally injured in the accident. (SCOTT BRYANT/staff)

Bulloch County EMS transported Clemmons to the Savannah hospital after EMTs confirmed the eastbound lanes of Interstate 16, which had been closed previously due to hurricane evacuation contra-flow, had been reopened.

He died of his injuries Thursday.

Charges are pending against the truck's driver, and the crash is under investigation by the GSP Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team, Rhodewalt said.

On Monday, GS police officers escorted Clemmons' body from Savannah to Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro, where Clemmons lived.

A post on the Georgia Southern PD Facebook page described Clemmons as "a remarkable young man who inspired all of us with his willingness to serve others."

Clemmons' family will receive visitors at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home Wednesday from 5–8 p.m.

The funeral service is Thursday at 11 a.m. at Connections Church in Statesboro, and interment will follow at Bulloch Memorial Gardens.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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