Update On Deadly Drag Race Incident
Two people were booked into the Fulton County Jail on vehicular homicide and racing charges stemming from a drag racing incident that killed a 20-year-old man in September 2016, according to WSB-TV. One of those booked into jail is an Atlanta police officer who currently works the day shift at the airport. The Georgia State Patrol investigated the deadly crash and sought arrest warrants for the police officer and a female friend who was also involved in the incident.
The deadly incident happened around September 14, 2016, at approximately 2:30 in the morning. Investigators believe that the police officer, who was then off duty, and his friend were drag racing another car on Peachtree Street in Midtown. The police officer drove a white Dodge Challenger and the other participant, a female, drove an orange Dodge Charger. The deceased male was a passenger in the police officer's car.
Troopers investigating the accident revealed that speeding was an issue. They did not believe at the time that alcohol was an issue. Initial reports about the accident suggested that the police officer was speeding when he crashed into the wall under the INVESCO Building. The officer's passenger tragically died on scene. Meanwhile, the officer suffered life-threatening injuries himself. He spent 12 hours in surgery as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash. Investigators shut down the road for several hours after the mid-week crash, rerouting traffic and causing commuting delays.
Now, the police officer and the woman driving the orange vehicle have turned themselves in to face charges relating to the incident. Investigators had originally filed electronic warrant requests for the arrest of the two drivers in February of 2017. No officer served either warrant. Consequently, both drivers turned themselves in to be booked but not before agreeing to a bail amount with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office. The office stated that it agreed to $25,000 bond for each person because the officer suffered terrible injuries in the crash and the woman is in the midst of a high-risk pregnancy. It expects to present the case to a Fulton County grand jury within the next thirty days.
Once the female driver posted bond and was released from jail, she released a statement to the press through her lawyer. The statement involved a claim that she held the dying man's hand in the aftermath of the crash until he expired. Her lawyer claims that she cannot speak about the incident without breaking down crying. She was the first person on the scene to attend to the two individuals in the car that crashed into the wall. Her lawyer maintains that she was simply a witness to the collision. The woman adamantly contends that she was not drag racing but was merely driving behind the white Challenger. She also made a similar claim during the preliminary investigation into the cause of the crash.
Georgia State Patrol would not release any additional information that it had learned about the crash, citing the pending criminal litigation as the reason. The woman's attorney, however, claimed to look forward with great anticipation the pending release of the both of the Challengers' black box reports. The attorney claims that information contained in the black box is significant to his client's role in the crash. The police officer did not speak on his behalf, nor did any attorney claiming to represent him speak to the press about the incident.
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