ATLANTA — Police are trying to determine if an off-duty police officer was racing another driver when he crashed in Midtown Wednesday morning.
Troopers are investigating the fatal crash they said involved an off-duty Atlanta police officer.
According to Georgia State Patrol, the crash happened on Peachtree Street in Midtown at about 2:30 a.m.
A white Dodge Challenger being driven by the officer hit a stone wall below the Invesco Building.
Peachtree Street was closed near Beverly Road and the Buford Spring Connector for hours Wednesday morning. It reopened just after 7 a.m.
The passenger in the officer's car died. A medical examiner identified the victim as Ramish Attai, 20, of Lilburn. %
Troopers said a bystander spoke to first responders and there was a possible 911 call made just before the wreck.
Speed was reported, troopers said, and is believed to have been a factor in the crash. There is no indication alcohol was involved at this time. No charges have been filed in the case at this time.
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Troopers said the off-duty officer was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was taken into surgery. The officer has been identified as Shawn Jones Jr., the son of Atlanta Assistant Police Chief Shawn Jones.
Officer Jones has been with the department since November 2011 and works the morning watch in the Airport Division.
Sources tell Channel 2 Action News that Jones spent about 12 hours in surgery Wednesday.
Coworkers say Jones had just left a job at Crescent Avenue's Koo-Koo Room before the accident.
"It's tough. We're praying for his recovery at this point," APD Deputy Chief Erika Shields said.
The driver of the other vehicle, also a Dodge Challenger, is being questioned, according to police. Troopers said no one was initially charged in the crash.
Attai was an employee at BQE restaurant off Edgewood Avenue.
Kenya Amos says Attai joined her staff about a year and a half ago. He and his brothers ran hookah for the restaurant.
"Nobody could believe it because some of our other employees just saw him last night," she said.
Attai and Jones knew each other through the restaurant, where Jones worked as an off-duty security officer.
Investigators are working to figure out whether the crash was caused by some sort of street race or whether it was just excessive speed.
Those who knew Attai spent the day consoling each other.
"Both of them are respectful, kind, caring," Amos said. "Our door is always open if anyone needs any time off to deal with it. Just whatever they need. If they need a shoulder to cry on, we're here."
Cox Media Group