Fayette County Sheriff Hannah and wife named in lawsuit


A woman whose car collided with a sheriff’s patrol vehicle Jan. 27 has filed suit seeking medical and punitive damages against Fayette County, Sheriff Wayne Hannah and the driver of the patrol vehicle, Capt. Deborah Hannah, who is also the wife of Sheriff Hannah.

In the lawsuit Danielle Amber Mask accuses Capt. Hannah of “pursuing family business” to protect her home after a burglar alarm was set off at her southeast Fayette home.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Helen Sams Parkway and South Jeff Davis Drive as Hannah traveled south on South Jeff Davis when Mask’s vehicle pulled in front of her going from Helen Sams Drive and turning onto South Jeff Davis Drive, according to findings from the Georgia State Patrol.

The suit, filed July 8 in Fayette County State Court, alleges that Capt. Hannah was driving without her siren activated, though the blue lights on her marked 2009 Ford Expedition were on prior to the crash.

The county contends Capt. Hannah’s siren was activated during the response to her home, according to court documents.

The crash was investigated by the Georgia State Patrol, and Mask was charged with failure to yield at a stop sign while Capt. Hannah did not receive any citations.

A spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol noted that the report indicated that Mask said she didn’t see Hannah’s vehicle when she began her turn onto South Jeff Davis Drive.

The county, in its response to the suit, also denied the accusation that Capt. Hannah was violating the speed limit at the time of the collision.

Capt. Hannah is in charge of the department’s drug abuse resistance education program for the sheriff’s office.

The suit claims that Mask, who had her 4-year-old daughter in the back seat, came to a stop on Helen Sams Parkway and looked both ways before turning left onto the westbound lane of traffic on South Jeff Davis Drive.

The suit accuses Capt. Hannah of being negligent in the operation of her vehicle which caused the crash that resulted in “serious injuries” to Mask and her daughter.

The crash has resulted in more than $90,000 in hospital expenses for Mask and her daughter, the suit claims.

Mask is seeking punitive damages in the case for past and future medical expenses as well as compensation for physical and mental pain among other reasons.

Mask is being represented in the case by Macon attorneys Russell M. Boston and Wendy Sullivan Boston.