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Public defender hurt in wreck
Police: Morris scooter collided with truck
A Gainesville police officer takes a closer look at the scene of a collision between a motorized scooter and a truck Tuesday afternoon on Riverside Drive in front of the Dairy Queen.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender Brad Morris was in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital Tuesday night after being airlifted with severe injuries following a traffic accident.

Morris, driving a motorized scooter, collided with a truck on Riverside Drive near the Dairy Queen at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Morris broke both legs, and also suffered a broken pelvis, a broken arm and possible broken ribs, said Nicki Noel Vaughan, chief assistant public defender for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office.

Vaughan said early indications were that Morris suffered no head injuries or internal injuries in the crash.

He remained conscious after the wreck, she said.

Morris collided with a truck driven by Tony Cantrell, an investigator for his office, according to police.

Gainesville Police Sgt. Jay Parrish said Cantrell was turning left into the Dairy Queen when his truck was struck by Morris’ southbound scooter.

The accident remained under investigation and no additional information was available Tuesday night.

Because of the severity of his injuries, Morris was loaded into a medical helicopter in the parking lot of City Park and flown to Grady hospital.

Morris heads up the public defender offices for Hall and Dawson counties, which provides lawyers for the majority of criminal defendants in felony cases.

In May 2008, a special selection committee reappointed Morris to a four-year term as the circuit’s public defender, overseeing more than a dozen defense lawyers and investigators and support staff. Morris has been in charge of the publicly funded office since its creation in 2004.

Last year Morris was honored with the Judge A.R. Kenyon Award for outstanding service to the Northeastern Circuit bar.

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