Husband of jogger killed in crash: 'I hope the officer is punished'

by: Liz Artz Updated:

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The jogger killed by a DeKalb County police officer after he lost control of his cruiser will be laid to rest tomorrow.

Janet Pickney, 66, died last month. Officer Ian MacGowen was driving down Chamblee Tucker Road when he said another car pulled out in front of him. He swerved and lost control of his cruiser, hitting Pickney and then crashing into a house.

An avid runner, Janet was at the beginning of her run when the crash happened July 25.

Janet Pickney's friends and family say she was an avid runner.

“Janet was supposed to be home. She was like clockwork so I knew something was wrong,” her husband, Ed, told Channel 2’s Liz Artz.

He said he drove the neighborhood, saw the police activity and raced to Grady Memorial Hospital.

“I kept trying to say to myself, ‘It wasn't her or she’s not hurt bad, maybe a broken leg or maybe just a scratch,’” Ed said.

But when he arrived at the hospital, they told him Janet likely wouldn’t make it.

“I held her hand for more than 12 hours. I talked to her. She died at 11:20 that night,” he said through tears.

Ed and Janet Pickney had been married for 20 years.

“She did everything. She was a great woman,” he said.

He said he lost his best friend that day.

“My wife was at the wrong place at the wrong time. If the car hadn’t stopped in front of him. If he’d had his red lights and sirens on. If Janet had been five feet one way or the other, she’d still be alive,” he said.


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He told Artz that he’s angry and hurt, and he wants answers.

“I'm angry. I'm devastated. For the cop to be going that fast to do that much damage?” he said. “Why be so foolish to drive that fast in a residential neighborhood, basically?”

Police told Artz on Friday that the investigation into what happened is still not complete. The outcome of the investigation will determine how or if the four-year veteran will be punished.

“I hope the police officer is punished as a civilian would be punished,” Ed said.

A family attorney said he wants changes to come from this tragedy. He said the intersection is dangerous and needs a traffic light. He would also like more training for officers.

“Why there’s not a traffic light there I just cannot imagine. With this history of wrecks and crashed and injuries, it’s horrible to think it took a death for that to happen,” attorney Hal Whitman said.

Janet Pickney’s funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist congregation of Atlanta.

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