Braves trainer in trooper-involved crash speaks out


ORLANDO, Fla. - The Braves trainer in a crash that killed his wife wants to thank fans for their support.

Jeff Porter spoke exclusively to Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant in Orlando on Friday.

“There’s just hundreds and hundreds of people, thousands of baseball fans around the country that were so kind and so supportive, and I want to thank them,” Porter said, fighting back tears.

Porter, his wife, Kathy, their 19-year-old son David and his friend were headed to the Peach Bowl on New Year’s Eve before the crash. Georgia State Patrol trooper Donald Crozier was trying to reach a police chase on Interstate 20 when he hit their SUV.

Porter, his son and the other passenger were hospitalized, but Kathy Porter did not survive. Porter said after her death, there was an outpouring of love from fans, team members and the community.

“The support was unbelievable, more than anything you could ever imagine. It was crazy,” Porter said.

His son said he read nearly 500 supportive messages, “some family, some friends, half of the people I didn’t even know,” he said.

A GSP investigation found that Crozier was speeding and ran a red light before crashing into the family's SUV. He was fired, but the Fulton County district attorney is looking into whether charges will be filed.

“I’m sure they were trained properly. I know they were trained properly. They have a tough job, but you have to use due regard,” Porter said.

Records show Crozier, a 10-year GSP veteran, was involved in at least four wrecks in the last four years. A few months before the crash with the Porter family, Crozier received a letter of reprimand from his commanding officer. Many questioned whether he should have still been on the road.

“I don’t think you need to be in a tragedy like us to realize that he probably should not have been driving,” Porter said.

He said his family wants to push legislation that would somehow prevent similar tragedies.

"We're looking for something that we can do," Porter said.