Liability Still Undetermined in South Fulton Fatal Police Chase Crash
SOUTH FULTON, GA. – According to an online news report from cbs46.com, liability has still not been determined in a fatal police chase crash that occurred in South Fulton, Georgia.*
South Fulton Police officer Deontae Walker was chasing the driver of a stolen Mercedes Benz on Jonesboro Road. Near the Ga. 138 and Interstate 85 intersection, a work van crossed into Walker’s path. The police cruiser struck the side of the van, and the van flipped and caught fire. Three people in the van died in the crash, and three others were injured. Walker was also injured and treated at a local hospital. He has since been released.
The crash is still under investigation by Georgia State Patrol. Walker said his lights and sirens were on at the time, but the driver of the van told police he did not hear any sirens. The incident prompted the South Fulton Police Department to release its chase policy to the public. The policy says a stolen vehicle is a justifiable reason to give chase, goes on to say that an officer should do “everything within his/her authority to apprehend the subject without resorting to a high-speed chase.”
In addition, the policy states that the officer has a duty to “avoid contributing to the danger already created by the violating motorist(s)” and says an officer must end a chase when it has become an “unreasonable danger.” A “clear danger,” according to the policy, exists “when speeds dangerously exceed the normal flow of traffic, or when vehicular and pedestrian traffic necessitates dangerous maneuvering that exceeds the performance of his/her vehicle or driver.”
It is not clear whether the officer will be found at fault. South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows has said the department will conduct an investigation into any potential violations when Georgia State Patrol has completed its investigation.
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