Driver charged with felony DUI for crash that injured Bluffton police officer on way to work

A Beaufort man faces two felony charges of driving under the influence in connection with a Saturday car crash that injured a Bluffton police officer and at least one other person, according to officials from the Bluffton Police Department and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Dewayne Linnen, 44, was charged Friday with two counts of felony DUI, meaning he is accused of impaired driving that resulted in “great bodily injury” for two other people.

Officer Frank Ginn Jr., who has worked with the Bluffton Police Department for at least three years, was driving to work in Bluffton from his home in Beaufort on S.C. 170 around 5:30 a.m. Saturday when he was hit head-on by another vehicle, according to a press release from the department.

Firefighters from the Bluffton Township Fire District had to cut into Ginn’s patrol vehicle to free him from the wreckage. Both Ginn and the people in the other car driven by Linnen were taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah.

Although Ginn’s injuires were not life-threatening, his recovery will likely take 10 to 12 weeks, Bluffton Chief of Police Joseph Babkiewicz said in a statement.

Trooper Nick Pye of the SC Highway Patrol declined to say whether Linnen was given a sobriety test after the crash.

As of 2 p.m. Friday, Linnen was in custody at the Beaufort County Detention Center. A bond hearing has not yet been held.

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