Jemison officer dies in wreck while responding to call

Published 2:17 pm Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Jemison police officer died Saturday night while responding to a car accident.

Officer Donald Joshua Newman, 30, lost control of his patrol car and struck a power pole near the Georgia Pacific plant on U.S. 31 in Thorsby. He died at the scene of the accident, which happened around 6:15 p.m. during heavy rains.

Donald Joshua Newman

Newman was just coming on to this shift from his home near Clanton, according to Jemison Police Chief Shane Fulmer. He was responding to a two-car accident north of Jemison that involved injuries to children.

“He was an outstanding officer. He was still a rookie, but he was what we refer to as an up-and-coming star in our profession,” said Fulmer. “Officer Newman was the type of police officer that every department in the country would have wanted. He was very dedicated, respectful and the mirror image of a professional.”

Newman, a Chilton County High School graduate, had been with the department since December 2008. He started as a reserve officer after working six years as a military officer with the Air Force. He came on full-time with Jemison after completing police academy in April 2010.

“He will be greatly missed here within the Jemison Police Department and the city of Jemison,” said Fulmer. “Our heavy hearts go out to Officer Newman’s family.”

Newman leaves behind a wife, Tracy Thornton Newman, and a son, 4-year-old Jace Newman.

“He was a wonderful father, husband, friend and just a great all around person,” Fulmer said.

Funeral arraignments have not been announced as of Sunday afternoon.