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Man charged in 2019 traffic death of Georgia Southern officer
Blake Anthony Strickland
Blake Anthony Strickland

After almost a year, a man involved in a September 2019 crash that took the life of a Georgia Southern University police officer was charged with misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

Bulloch County Jail reports show Blake Anthony Strickland, of Chastain Circle in Richmond Hill, was booked Monday on charges of second-degree vehicular homicide and improper U-turn.

On Sept. 4, 2019, around 3:15 p.m., off-duty GS police officer Tristan Michael Clemmons, who was 23, was riding a motorcycle north on Highway 67, according to Georgia State Patrol reports. Just north of the intersection with Burkhalter Road, near Aspen Heights Apartments, Clemmons was on his motorcycle in the left lane. Strickland, 20, was driving a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado, traveling in the same direction in the right lane when he made a left turn, the report said, as if he were making a U-turn, into Clemmons’ path. Clemmons' motorcycle struck the truck, according to Georgia State Patrol Post 45 Commander Chris Rhodewalt.

First responders to the scene said they heard speaking over a police radio and that Clemmons was unconscious. A call was made to Air Evac, but weather prevented its flight. 

Bulloch County EMS transported Clemmons to a Savannah hospital. He died of his injuries the next day.

The case was turned over to the GSP Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team. Strickland was charged after the investigation was completed and was released on bond shortly after his arrest Monday, according to jail records.  


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

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