High School Math Teacher Charged With Drunkenly Ramming COP CAR

Wendy Ellen Burnett Cannon Detention Center

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A high school math teacher in North Charleston, South Carolina has been charged with drunk driving after she plowed her 16-year-old Pontiac into a police car on the side of the road. The police car then rammed into a police officer standing near the car, seriously injuring him.

The alleged drunk driver is Wendy Ellen Burnett, reports The Post and Courier, the main newspaper in nearby Charleston.

The incident occurred in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Burnett, 24, was driving down Interstate 26, near the Charleston airport, when she collided with the police car.

The policeman, Andrew Turner, had stopped a Dodge van on the shoulder of the Interstate highway. Turner was standing in the vicinity of his stopped squad car and the stopped van when the collision occurred.

The collision caused by the math teacher caused Turner’s police car to hit Turner.

Medical personnel transported Turner, 32, to a local hospital.

The 8-year police veteran’ unspecified injuries are not deemed life-threatening, but they remain serious. He has since left the hospital.

“He seems to be in good spirits but obviously this is a pretty serious injury that’s going to keep him out of work for quite some time,” John Blackmon, president of the Tri-County Fraternal Order of Police, told The Post and Courier. “He’s got a long recovery ahead of him.”

Turner’s injuries were “clearly an avoidable tragedy,” Blackmon added.

“This officer, he didn’t get to attend his 5-year-old’s birthday party on Saturday because he’s in the hospital,” Blackmon told Charleston ABC affiliate WCIV. “Now, he won’t be able to go to her kindergarten — first day of kindergarten on Monday.”

North Charleston police department spokesman Reggie L. Burgess said he expects Turner to make a full recovery.

Burnett, a third-year geometry teacher at North Charleston High School, was arrested at the scene and charged with a felony count of driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.

The charge carries a minimum prison sentence of 30 days and a maximum prison sentence of 15 years. Fines for the charge range from $5,100 to $10,000.

Local school district officials have been placed Burnett on paid leave pending a district investigation.

Burnett is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond.

WCIV, the Charleston ABC affiliate station, provides information for people interested in donating to a recovery fund for Turner. The Fraternal Order of Police says Turner will receive 100 percent of all donations.

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