As Officer Inspected Manhole Cover, He Was Hit and Killed

Woman allegedly fled the scene of the accident
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2019 4:32 PM CST
Woman Accused of Fatally Striking Cop as He Inspected Manhole Cover
Cars drive past a manhole cover overflowing with water in the 2900 block of Hamill Road Sunday, February 24, 2019 in Hixson, Tennessee. Galinger was inspecting this cover when he was struck.   (Erin O. Smith/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

A Tennessee woman accused of fatally striking a Chattanooga police officer and then leaving the scene Saturday night is now in police custody. Police say Janet Elaine Hinds, 54, was speeding in the rain on Hamil Road just after 11pm when she crossed the double center line, hit a sign in the center of the road warning drivers of an exposed manhole cover, then hit Nicholas Galinger. The officer was inspecting the manhole cover, which had water flowing from it, at the time. Galinger died at a local hospital and Hinds was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Top 10 most wanted list, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. She turned herself in Monday.

Hinds is charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident with death, reckless driving, driving left of center line, failure to render aid, violation of traffic control, speeding, failure to report an accident, driver's responsibility to exercise due care. A judge set her bond at $300,000 with house arrest ordered if she posts bond; she is also not allowed to drive. Prior to her surrender, police had asked the public to alert authorities if they saw a 2017-2018 Honda CR-V with damage to its front end; authorities found a vehicle matching that description, with extensive damage, at Hinds' residence five miles away from the scene of the accident. They got a warrant to seize it and other evidence from the home. Galinger, 38, had only been on the job about a month when he was killed, the Tennesseean reports. (Good Samaritan hit, killed by driver who then steals his car.)

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