Police make arrest in connection to Barrow County hit and run

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An arrest has been made in a hit-and-run in Barrow County which sent a man to the hospital.

The sheriff's office said the outcome could have been much worse had it not been for the actions of Joseph Rivas who stopped to help.

"This cap right here and some damage down here I guess it was some sort of pipe," said Rivas as he pointed to damage on his car.

He showed FOX 5 News the damage occurred when he struck debris on a stretch of Highway 316 in Barrow County near Barber Creek Road.

Rivas said when he pulled over early Sunday morning he noticed something strange in the woods.

"When I got out of the car I saw a flipped over car. So I'm walking over I'm praying like I don't want to see anything gory or bad," said Rivas.

He said he saw the victim, a man in his 20's, crawl out of his crumpled jeep, bleeding and obviously injured.

Rivas told FOX 5 News when he reached the victim, the man kept saying ‘help me, help me' and something else.

"And I kept asking what happened? ‘What happened?' and he said ‘I don't know, I don't know,'" said Rivas.

He said after he called 911 medics rushed the victim to Piedmont Athens Regional Hospital. Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith told FOX 5 News the victim has a long road to recovery which may have been doubtful had Rivas not found him.

"Getting emergency personnel there especially EMT's that could stabilize him was definitely a good factor," said Sheriff Smith.

He said crime scene evidence determined it was a hit-and-run, and involved  a 2001 to 2004 Ford Escape.

Sheriff Smith said 22-year-old Zantrarious Shields turned himself in with his attorney at his side Monday afternoon around 3:15.

Shields faces hit-and-run, failure to report an accident and other charges for the incident which left the victim in the hospital.

"God was with him God was, because that car was pretty damaged," said Rivas.

FOX 5 News reached out to the victim's family but did not hear back.