Updated at 3:01 p.m. on Tuesday, August 20, 2019, with more information.
The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration cleared the Chattanooga Police Department of any wrongdoing in the February death of Officer Nicholas Galinger.
Galinger, 38, was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Hamill Road in Hixson while inspecting a manhole cover after heavy rain. Community members and the suspect's defenders questioned safety measures in place to protect the officers. They noted the road sign over the manhole had lost its reflective cover, Galinger and his field training officer were dressed in blue and not wearing reflective vests, their cruiser lights weren't on, and it was dark and raining. However, prosecutors argued the accident was caused solely by the actions of Janet Hinds, the driver.
The state agency, which investigates all workplace fatalities and other workplace injuries in Tennessee, began an investigation shortly after. An agency leader wrote to Galinger's next of kin, his mother, in April to offer condolences and notify her there was an investigation into "the circumstances surrounding the tragic event." The investigation closed Tuesday with a letter to the City of Chattanooga's Director of Safety Mike Anthony. The letter notified the city there were no violations of TOSHA standards. A letter was also sent to Galinger's mother informing her of the findings.
TOSHA investigation findingsView
Prosecutors say Galinger was killed by Hinds, a 55-year-old Hixson resident, who is accused of speeding through the rain, crossing the double center line and striking the officer after an evening of drinking at Farm To Fork restaurant in Ringgold, Georgia. They also say Hinds consumed four beers — 76 ounces — and a Lemon Drop vodka shot before the incident.
She turned herself in to police after a two-day search and faced 10 charges: speeding, driving under the influence, vehicular homicide by way of intoxication, leaving the scene of an accident with death, reckless driving, driving left of center line, failure to render aid, violation of traffic control, failure to report an accident and driver's responsibility to exercise due care.
Hinds was released on bond in March after her bond had been reduced. She was ordered to be placed on house arrest, wasn't allowed to drive, had to wear an alcohol monitor and had her passport revoked.
She was later arrested again by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for testing positive for alcohol consumption during a random drug screening on June 21.
During a hearing on July 11, her bond was increased from roughly $160,000 to $175,000. She posted the remaining bond not long after and was released back to house arrest.
Hinds is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 4.
Staff writers Rosana Hughes and Zack Peterson contributed to this story.