ATLANTA,None - The wife of an Atlanta Braves trainer was killed on Saturday when a state trooper hit her family’s SUV while responding to a call, authorities say.
The crash happened near Memorial Drive and Capitol Avenue in downtown Atlanta on Saturday around 4:30 p.m.
The Atlanta Braves released a statement saying they are deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the accident involving trainer Jeff Porter and their thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Porter, his wife, Kathy, their-19 year-old son David and his friend, 18-year-old Courtney Ann Williams, who was also injured, were headed to the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve. Witnesses said the crash happened in an instant.
“(I said) 'He is going too fast. He is going to hit that black truck.’ And before you know it, all you see is this big poof of dust everywhere,” a witness said.
A spokesperson for the Georgia State Patrol said one of their own was trying to get to a police chase on Interstate 20 when he drove through the intersection of Memorial Drive and Capitol Avenue. GSP said the trooper's lights and sirens were warning those in his way, but witnesses said it wasn’t enough to avoid hitting the SUV driven by Porter, with his family inside. Some said they didn't hear anything at all.
"I'm saying to myself, 'OK, I see his lights, but there's no siren, and he's speeding up. If he's in an emergency, why are there no sirens?'" witness Sandy Jones said.
The truck slammed into a utility pole before coming to rest.
Porter was rushed to the hospital with his 19-year-old son, David Porter, and another passenger, but his wife, Kathy Porter, was killed.
“You still exercise due regard when you pass any type of intersection or anything, but he was going against the red light,” Capt. Mark Hambert of GSO said.
GSP said it is investigating whether Trooper First Class Donald Crozier, a 10-year veteran, was at fault for the crash.