Driver pleads guilty to crash that killed Atlanta officer

Updated:

Chasity Jones, 23, enters a guilty plea in Fulton County court.

ATLANTA - A woman has pleaded guilty to a crash that killed an Atlanta police officer on Interstate 75.

Chasity Jones, 23, pleaded guilty in Fulton County Court Friday afternoon. She will serve 16 years in prison as part of the plea, the maximum possible sentence.

Jones hit 15-year veteran officer Gail Thomas on Jan. 25, 2012 while Thomas helped a stranded driver on the interstate near the Brookwood Interchange.

She initially faced a 13-count indictment, but only pleaded guilty to two of the charges: vehicular homocide and failure to obey authorized person directing traffic.

Thomas served as a 911 dispatcher for five years before she was an officer. She was also a member of the Atlanta Police Honor Guard. She is survived by her daughter.

"SPO Thomas was the epitome of what a good officer is, and I just loved her," said retired Sgt. Marcia Dell said at the funeral.

The funeral drew hundreds of police from across the country. The horses that pulled Thomas' caisson were the same that pulled former President Ronald Reagan's coffin.

Jones’ mother told Channel 2 that her daughter worked at a restaurant in Gwinnett County and went out to a bar afterward the day of the crash.

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