The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing a case for a possible administrative investigation into how a man was reportedly left inside a crashed vehicle for six hours after it was processed and towed from the scene.
The owner of the vehicle was identified as 42-year-old Mark Gilliam. However, the sheriff’s office hasn’t confirmed whether he was the man found injured inside the car, which crashed into a utility pole on Wagner Ford Road in Harrison Twp. early New Year’s Day.
Witnesses told deputies the car went off the right side of the roadway and crashed into a utility pole, breaking that pole and leaving wires across the vehicle and roadway. Capt. Jeremy Roy said those wires may have prevented emergency crews from immediately accessing the car at the scene when they were called there shortly before 3 a.m.
A crew from Busy Bee Auto Parts, which was down the street, towed the car from the scene. Six hours later, when a worker came to remove the vehicle from a flatbed truck, a man was found inside screaming for help. He was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, but was in stable condition Thursday, Roy said.
Separate from the crash investigation, Roy said his office is reviewing the case and whether deputies followed department policies and procedures when investigating the crash. He said it is standard policy for deputies to take an inventory inside the car, in order to determine if there are any valuables, and secure them. This is done to protect the sheriff’s office and the tow company from liability for missing items, Roy said. He did not say if an inventory was done that night.
Investigators are also trying to determine whether it’s possible if the man returned to the car after it was processed, but “he had pretty severe injuries so I am doubting that,” Roy said.
“We got a lot of people who missed him and that’s what we’re trying to determine — what happened,” he added.
After reviewing the case, Roy said he’ll decide whether or not to launch an administrative investigation. That decision is expected next week. The deputies names have not been released, and Roy said they are working their regular shifts as part of the Harrison Twp. road patrol while the review continues.