Atlanta residents are mourning the loss of a veteran police officer after she was killed in an accident caused by an alleged drunk driver. The 46-year-old female victim worked for the Atlanta Police Department for 20 years. As the community remembered the woman for her service, Atlanta's mayor said the woman's death should remind residents to offer their respect to officers, who put their lives on the line every day.
The woman was struck late on a recent Tuesday night after she arrived on the scene of a one-car accident. After arriving on the scene, the officer was about to get out of her vehicle, but instead was hit by on oncoming car. The collision happened at the interchange ramp of Interstate 75 south and I-85 north. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
A 22-year-old woman from Stone Mountain, Georgia, was behind the wheel of the other car, and police allege that she was driving drunk. The driver arrested after agreeing to an alcohol breath test that revealed she had twice the legal amount of alcohol in her system. Police first took the woman to a hospital, where doctors extracted a blood sample, before being taken to jail.
Police have charged the woman, who works at a local restaurant, both with first-degree homicide by vehicle and reckless driving. The driver's mother said she was saddened by the events, adding that she often instructed her daughter not to drink and drive.
The officer left behind a 22-year-old daughter. It is unclear because of the woman's status as an on-duty officer would impact a wrongful death lawsuit, but the accident should regardless serve as a warning against drunk driving.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Fallen Atlanta officer remembered for her smile, spirit," Alexis Stevens, Jan. 25, 2012
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