The Georgia State Patrol has released few details on the lethal auto accident that took the life of Atlanta Braves head trainer Jeff Porter's wife yesterday, but a witness shared his account with the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Atlanta resident Steve Bouye, who works for the federal prison system in Atlanta, had gotten off work and was turning out of a BP gas station at approximately 4:40 p.m. when a police cruiser sped past him.
"As soon as I saw him go past I said ‘man I hope he don't hit nobody," Bouye said. "Seconds later I heard a big blast like a train crash."
The police car collided with an SUV being driven by Porter at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive in downtown Atlanta. Porter's wife, Kathy Porter, died on the scene. Jeff Porter, 19-year-old son David and 18-year-old Courtney Ann Williams were also injured. Kathy Porter was 54.
The family was on its way to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, reports ajc.com.
Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said the officer involved was Trooper First Class Donald Crozier. Crozier was on his way to aid in a chase on Interstate 20. He was treated for his injuries and released from a hospital Saturday night.
Wright said the agency's Specialized Reconstruction Team was working with the state Department of Public Safety's Special Investigation Division, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fulton County District Attorney's Office to investigate the crash. He said no new details were available Sunday and no accident report would be available until Tuesday when the office reopens.
"Any personnel actions related to the crash will be based on the findings of the various investigations," Wright added.
Wright also said that Crozier had the cruiser's lights and sirens on.
Bouye said the trooper may failed to see the red light, because the intersection was at the top of a hill. He and Jeff Porter then attempted to force open the door to remove Kathy Porter, who kept losing consciousness.
"We had people out there trying to help an innocent family," Bouye said. "I know it caught them off-guard. It was sad. It bothered me the whole day yesterday. You could just tell that was a good loving family."
Braves.com reports that Bobby Cox, Fredi Gonzalez and Brian McCann visited Porter and his family in the hospital last night. He has been with the Braves since 1985 and has been the head athletic trainer since 2003.
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