‘It was a very scary day’; Thomasville officer injured in crash has long road to recovery

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THOMASVILLE, N.C. — We now have a timeline of events leading up to a crash that critically injured a Thomasville police officer on Thursday.  

Sgt. Joey Driggers was hit by a man on a motorcycle who led Rowan County deputies on a high-speed chase into Davidson County. 

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office told FOX8 that around 1:15 p.m. on Thursday Bacelli was spotted on I-85 near mile marker 68 on his motorcycle without a registration plate.

Once Bacelli saw the deputy, he accelerated, almost crashed into two vehicles and then went faster, reaching speeds of 120 miles per hour. He turned around and went the wrong way into oncoming traffic and almost a second deputy who tried to pull him over.

The pursuit then continued into Davidson County.  

Around 1:30 p.m., Sgt. Joey Driggers had just stepped out of his vehicle along business 85 and Kanoy Road. The mobile roadblock officers executed stopped Brian Bacelli in his tracks until he quickly accelerated, crashing into Sgt. Driggers and throwing him 15 feet back. 

Bacelli tried to escape again before officers stopped him.  

Sgt. Driggers was flown to a local hospital. 

Bacelli is currently in the Davidson County jail on a $1,060,000 bond. He faces a number of charges, including attempted first-degree murder, driving without a license, driving while impaired and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. 

Family members have since started a GoFundMe to support Sgt. Driggers’s wife and daughters during this time.

There’s also a Facebook group where you can keep up with his progress. His sister Ashley Poirier told FOX8 there’s several community fundraisers planned over the next few days. Her brother is in a lot of pain and has had a few surgeries already. He will likely be in a wheelchair for a while.  

“It was a very scary day yesterday because the family didn’t know exactly what had happened. We just knew he had been in an accident. The amount of police officers who were in the parking lot of the hospital last night, his mother, Joey’s mother, said was just unbelievable. The family just appreciates all the prayers and support and outpouring love,” Poirier told FOX8.  

On Saturday at 5 p.m., Thomasville Church of God on West Holly Hill Road is hosting a prayer event for the injured officer.  

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