Crash hospitalizes budding law enforcer; other driver charged with DUI

Crash hospitalizes budding law enforcer; other driver charged with DUI
Justin Nelson (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Department)
Justin Nelson (Photo source: Ocean Springs Police Department)

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A Biloxi man about to begin his law enforcement career is lucky to be alive after he was hit by a suspected drunk driver.

Zac Russell, 24, was stopped at a traffic light on U.S. 90 at Ocean Springs Road around 1:45 a.m. Sunday when Ocean Springs police say his car was hit from behind, shoving it through the intersection.

Russell was trapped in his crumpled car when police arrived, but the driver of the other vehicle was nowhere to be found.

Ocean Springs Police Captain William Jackson said officers spotted 38-year-old Justin Alan Nelson walking from a nearby fast food restaurant not far from the accident scene.

Nelson was arrested and charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident causing serious injury and possession of marijuana. Nelson is being held at the Ocean Springs Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing.

Family friend Curtis Spiers said Russell was recently hired to join the Hancock County Sheriff's Department and was due to enter the law enforcement academy next week.

Spiers posted on his Facebook page Monday afternoon, "By the grace of God he is alive and in a coma with two brain bleeds. Please pray for him and his family." Monday night Spiers told WLOX News Now "He's a good kid and was on his path, just starting his career."

Sheriff Ricky Adam said Russell is already part of the law enforcement family. His uncle, Captain Chris Russell, is training at the Hancock County Sheriff's Department. Adam was encouraged Monday night when he learned that Russell had regained consciousness.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.