Memorial for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainer

In lieu of flowers, the family of the late Kathy Porter has requested contributions be made to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta or First Baptist Church of Loganville.

Porter, the wife of Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter, was killed in an automobile accident Saturday when the sport utility vehicle that Jeff was driving was struck by a Georgia State Patrol cruiser at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive, only blocks from Turner Field. She was 54.

Jeff Porter, son David Porter, 19, and a friend, Courtney Ann Williams, 18, also sustained injuries in the crash. They were treated and released from Grady Memorial Hospital on Saturday. The four were on their way to the Chik-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgia Dome.

Trooper First Class Donald Crozier, a 10-year veteran, was en route to assist in a chase on nearby Interstate 20 when he struck the SUV. Crozier was also treated and released from Grady on Saturday.

A Georgia State Patrol spokesman 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 the accident report would not be available until Tuesday when the office reopened after the New Year’s holiday.

The funeral service for Kathy Porter will be private.

Contributions can be made to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta at 1687 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30329, and to First Baptist Church of Loganville, 680 Tom Brewer Road, Loganville, Ga. 30052.

Condolences can be expressed and a guest book signed online by clicking this link.

204 comments Add your comment

phil

January 2nd, 2012
10:28 pm

Sadly, Porter will be blamed.

This kind of absurd, senseless thing is absolutely unacceptable in our society, yet we continue to tolerate it from our boneheaded public safety folks.

It is really upsetting.

My condolences to the Porter family.

jharber

January 2nd, 2012
10:31 pm

as a retired officer i know its hard on the trooper, but i cannot imagine the pain jeff is feeling right now DOB thanks for the update. may god bless the porter family thru this trying time

Tim

January 2nd, 2012
10:32 pm

Seriously Phil??? The trooper had lights and siren on. Emergency vehicle has the right of way. Terrible tragedy but don’t blame the trooper.

labalt

January 2nd, 2012
10:34 pm

Condolences to the Porter family

Tootragic

January 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

I believe that responding officers need to use caution when on surface streets, especially busy ones, during an extremely busy tine. I was almost hit head on at an intersection by a police office —who had his lights and sirens on, but that was of no defense as he made a left turn head on into traffic directly toward me. Luckily I was able to move over and be missed as he completely turned around to head the the opposite direction, which was the direction of his actual call that only turned out to be a fender bender, but had been called in as an accident with injuries. Like the police chief said to me that day: “THEY AIN’T HELPING IF THEY CAN’T GET THERE (WHICH, IN THIS CASE HE DIDN’T) and their first priority is to keep the public safe, not to put innocent lives in danger.” The thrill of the chase maybe??? Ya think? Not to mention the trooper was cresting a hill at a high rate of speed, chances are Mr. Porter never heard nor saw him until it was too late. Very sad for all involved. I am sure the trooper is sick over it as well.

Bob

January 2nd, 2012
10:49 pm

If you weren’t already aware – lights and sirens do not give any public safety people blind freedom to completely blow through an intersection—— especially when vision is obscured as was the case with this particular one. also – more than one witness has said that the trooper’s siren was not activated…..
It’s a tragedy on both sides of this coin…

J

January 2nd, 2012
10:50 pm

No Tim,

That is where you are wrong. The emergency vehicle never has the right-of-way coming upon a red-light. You still have to drive with due regard. You might want to look up the code, it is Georgia Code, Motor vehicles and traffic – Title 40, Section 40 – 6 – 6. I am not going to go in to detail about the entire code, but it may interest you to read this. I have been in Public service for too many years and I promise you, that your thoughts on this are completely wrong.

Billy

January 2nd, 2012
10:54 pm

Witness said Trooper couldn’t see the light at intersection..but the rules for a chase is not to endanger anyone else. GSP was speeding in business district which is no-no..Prayers for all and may God bless Porter’s family,friend & GSP..RIP Kathy.

Billy

January 2nd, 2012
11:00 pm

Michael in Decatur

January 2nd, 2012
11:01 pm

This was an accident that turned tragic., Do we need a thorough review of the circumstances and our procedures? Yes, of course. Now is not the time to speculate and assign blame. Both families are hurting and we need to reserve judgment until we know the FACTS. Even if Porter somehow failed to yield or was otherwise at fault, he most certainly did not want this outcome. And very few of us have the stuff to dedicate our days to public safety. Say a prayer for both families and try to refrain from mindless speculation….please?

Native Atlanta

January 2nd, 2012
11:04 pm

Very sad, but when your in the wrong place at the wrong time, thats it folks.

JRW7

January 2nd, 2012
11:06 pm

My prayers go out to Jeff Porter and family.

Art

January 2nd, 2012
11:07 pm

J is correct.

(2) Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down as may be necessary for safe operation;

ATLien

January 2nd, 2012
11:11 pm

Beyond sad :( RIP Kathy

Hooters!

January 2nd, 2012
11:12 pm

That cop should be indicted for vehicular homicide and heaved into Alcatraz for at least a lustrum. GSP policy should be changed so that canine-like chasing and bat-outta-hell velocity is banned. Cops and their mindless sycophants can just suck it!

Jane

January 2nd, 2012
11:14 pm

Of course the police “said” the officer’s lights and siren were on. That’s what they ALWAYS say when one of theirs crashes into someone. But the witnesses say otherwise……..again.
This exact type of crash happened in Port Orange, FL in 1990 with a rookie cop also after a motorcycle. A woman was almost killed and spent years in a wheelchair before being able to walk again and fought the city for as many years. They maintained their LIE that lights and sirens were on as witness after witness testified otherwise. She took her fight all the way to Tallahassee and a law was passed called the Bettye Arnold law that keeps the city from blaming the citizens for their poor judgment. And in the end, the jury found in favor of Mrs. Arnold. If the Porter’s are so inclined they should get the same attorney Mrs. Arnold had and sue the hell out of that department. That’s disgusting that they are already covering the cops ass and claiming his lights and siren were on.
Mrs. Arnold was told by a city official that they didn’t feel they should pay her 6 figure medical bills because “had she died” they’d “only have to pay her family $5,000. So much for protect and serve.
The jury made them pay all her bills, lost wages and attorney fee’s and more. I hope the Porter’s hold the city accountable. Cops play russian roullette with citizens lives everyday driving like arrogant teenagers in their pursuits. It’s ridiculous.

Sad for all involved

January 2nd, 2012
11:21 pm

My condolences to the Porter family. This is tragic and sad for ALL involved. I know the Trooper. He is a GOOD MAN. Don’t condemn him. This was an accident. With the obvious exception of the Porter family, I doubt anyone feels worse than he does. God be with everyone involved.

Ricky Grooms

January 2nd, 2012
11:22 pm

Terrible tragedy for all involved.

Pete*

January 2nd, 2012
11:26 pm

Tim, what you said is false, and just plain absurd. I dont know the facts in this accident, but IF the trooper ran a red light, he is absolutely at fault, no matter how many sirens and lights he had going. A trooper (or cop or fire truck) does NOT automatically have the right of way when going through an intersection

Mike

January 2nd, 2012
11:34 pm

As a former Police Officer and GBI Agent, I can attest that the trooper’s car out-ran his siren when he hit 35 mph…having said that, this is a difficult situation for everyone around…may God richly bless Jeff and his extended family…

James

January 2nd, 2012
11:37 pm

It was a terrible accident period. It wasnt something either planned for plain and simple. Either way you debate it, a persons life ended so instead of arguing back and forth lets keep the family of the Porters in our prayers as well as the Trooper and his family.

Tom

January 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

there have been times i have been driving i hear a siren all of a sudden but can’t see what it is coming from. what would you do in that scenario. cautiously continue where you were going, or stop in your tracks, cuz it might be headed your way?

Brian Finley

January 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

Everybody wants to blame law enforcement. What about the maggot running from the police? Until we make fleeing police a more serious crime, the maggots with continue to run. If police can’t chase, you create drivers running from the police more often. Make fleeing more a more serious penalty instead of the reverse.

sparta_bubba

January 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

First my condolences to the Porter family.

Second to Jane, GSP is a state agency not city. So please leave the city out of this.

Third. It’s time for the state to pass a law banning “canine-like chasing and bat-outta-hell velocity” chases as they only endanger public saftey and do not enhance it. I would like to know what kind of activity was going on where one trooper could not handle it and a second or third had to race to the scene? Thinking about it, this means there were two or more simultaneous public saftety endangerments being generated by the GSP. One on I-20 and one on Memorial Dr. Were they chasing a mass murderer or someone who had just commited a major felony or was it this just a case of the GSP showing its balls because some frightened teen ager did not stop when blue lights were thrown on them? I hope the Porter’s sue the state and help to stop this senseless. Some chases are necessary, but most like this one, are not and should be ended.

Lefty

January 2nd, 2012
11:40 pm

Tim,

Witnesses interviewed on TV said the lights were on but they never heard sirens and the trooper never slowed down for the intersection. Don’t blame the innocent victims.

Joseph

January 2nd, 2012
11:45 pm

Jane, their cars are equipped with cameras that show when the lights and sirens are on so you can take your conspiracy theory down the road. You act like an arrogant teenager with your hatred of the police. I’ve known many police officers over the years and they are all great people who sacrifice so much for people like you who dont appreciate anything and lump them all into one for some isolated issue you have a little knowedge (not first hand).

Alex

January 2nd, 2012
11:47 pm

We need to blame the piece of crap that started all this. The scumbag that caused the accident was running from the police. He murdered Mrs. Porter. I know the officer, as well as the Porter family is wracked with grief. May God grant them peace and strength.

jackie b.

January 2nd, 2012
11:49 pm

The problem is not the trooper or jeff.The problem is the policy on chasing.Just stop it once you have a tag no. go get culprit tomorrow at home. Unless public safety is in danger.

Mike

January 2nd, 2012
11:52 pm

I hope an objective investigation will be done on possible criminal charges. Contrary to popular belief, officers are not above the law.

camille

January 3rd, 2012
12:02 am

Tragic accident. Witness stated that he saw the trooper speeding by with NO lights or sirens on. This is the same witness who tried to get the lady out of the car and saw her take her last breath.

Angie

January 3rd, 2012
12:22 am

Unfortunately, there are wreckless GSP, City Police, County Police, AND other drivers. Too many worry about getting where they are going faster, talking on the phone, cutting up, or just not paying attention. I’m not saying any of these happened in this wreck, as I was not there, and from what it seems, neither were any of you posting your opinions. People, know the facts, or don’t rush to judgement. The important thing here is that a family lost a wife, daughter, mother and friend.

UGA 75

January 3rd, 2012
12:27 am

As a 20 year Deputy Sheriff in a rural county, I can tell you the first thing the GSP teaches in their Driving course is public safety. This is a truly sad event for all concerned. The GSP Trooper made one or more mistakes and the Porter family and the Trooper’s family are all suffering presently. Our prayers should go out for everyone involved in this tragic ACCIDENT.

You don't know do you!

January 3rd, 2012
12:46 am

My thoughts and prayers goes out to the Porter and the trooper families. This was a tragic accident that resulted in a loss of life. There was no intent from the trooper to harm anyone. Accidents happen everyday. Few people are quick to past judgement on a accident that is still under investigation. Once the investigation is completed, it will be tried in a court of law. You are the same people who are jeopardizing people lives because you are speeding on the interstates in Atlanta because you are late for work, or trying to make it to daycare to get your child before six o’clock.

Jaine

January 3rd, 2012
12:52 am

You folks that want to go ahead and bicker and fight and debate all you want. Doesn’t matter. Kathy Porter is gone because of a tragic tragic accident. I just hope everyone is praying for Jeff Porter, his son – all who have suffered from this loss…if you have been a Braves fan as many years as I have, Jeff is part of the team…the family. His loss is every Braves fans loss who’s ever seen him trot across the field when someone his hurt. Now it’s our turn to trot across the field and help him. God bless them all.

Hit A Single

January 3rd, 2012
1:07 am

I believe whoever the officer was chasing should be charged with vehicular homicide. There actions put everybody in danger and they should be charged. I feel for the Porter family and the Officer and his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

david g

January 3rd, 2012
1:28 am

did they ever locate the person they were chasing? so many are saying they should charge that person. I’m sure they will try if they have him in custody.

g\o

January 3rd, 2012
1:34 am

this is what happens when some renegade police officer thinks he’s starring in the dukes of hazzard and drives highway speed through the downtown of the largest city in the entire state and runs a red light. he needs some prison time in exchange for the murder of the innocent

Gwinnett Fred

January 3rd, 2012
1:47 am

I swear I recall when a new law was talked about, or maybe it was just a contemplated policy change, that high speed chases would be discontinued when police vehicles entered congested areas or residence areas, this being after a near fatal crash during a high speed chase.

I sure wish it I remembered correctly and more importantly, wish that if I am not, that state officials would open their eyes to the lopsided “plus/minus” circumstances in these cases.

In any event, prayers to the Porter family and a speedy recovery to those injured.

mike

January 3rd, 2012
2:00 am

When the law takes precedent over human life we have lost our bearings.Unless that GSP was chasing after a homicidal manic on the loose,then this tragedy was completely avoidable.The chase laws need to be changed.The cops need to get a sense of perspective about this INSANE policy.Imagine how this cop would feel if he killed his own wife chasing after a petty criminal or someone who was speeding.There is simply no rational justification for the police to endanger EVERYONE in pursuit of catching ANYONE.No other country in the world has the Keystone Cops mentality of placing all in danger over the police’s warped sense of priority.Let us all pray for the Porter family and the policeman who caused this tragedy.May God guide us to a sane policy.

lol

January 3rd, 2012
2:32 am

Gods special people. The earth unfolds for them, the skies part and the moon changes its orbit to suit their mood….

MWC

January 3rd, 2012
3:15 am

Joseph
JUst because you’re a cop doesn’t make you a ” great” person.

P B Orr

January 3rd, 2012
3:28 am

I love the people who say “the guy running from police killed Ms. Porter”. No, the fat thoughtless trooper is the one who killed her, by running his cruiser into her car and smashing her into atoms. The trooper, who is probably some strutting, preening, thoughtless narcissist with a shaved head and a bad attitude, is the person who killed her. Do you get it? No one else killed Ms. Porter. The State Patrol killed her. Understand? Good.

used to be phoenix falcon

January 3rd, 2012
3:38 am

about 2 years ago in Phoenix, A woman ( whom the police knew, where she lived, family, etc…) was driving to fast, the cop pulled her over, when she ( the cop ) got out of the police car the lady took off, long story short, while they was chasing this lady, by this time at least 10 cop cars, they tried to use the stop sticks to stop her, it worked, she stopped, but the cop behind her tried to avoid the stop sticks, and in doing so hit and killed the cop that threw out the stop sticks. guess who just got convicted of murder…. you guessed it, the chick who the police was chasing, they said she killed the cop, NOT, the cop that hit and killed him.

Condolences to Porter Family

January 3rd, 2012
5:10 am

All the finger pointing going on – will it bring Kathy Porter back? No. My heart aches for all involved. God is with them every step of the way. I pray they all find peace in this tragic accident. Find HIS comforting arms that is holding all of them. It cannot be easy for the officer either.

raleturn

January 3rd, 2012
5:23 am

This is a most unfortunate situation and exemplifies why LEO need to be psychologically tested yearly just as they have to qualify yearly to carry a pistol. The officer was just behaving in a manner that his culture has taught him. He was geeked up on testosterone so much when the opportunity presented itself to become involved in a high speed motorcycle chase – more than like a sport bike since it was on I-20 – that he forgot the basics of common safety. Hopefully this can be used as a teachable moment since I am sure the dashboard camera was running when the emergency lights came on, and perhaps the law needs to be changed through out the state that high speed pursuits for traffic offenses is not a viable option. This will not do Mrs. Porter any good, but perhaps it can bring her family some comfort knowing her death brought about sensible change to pursuit law in the state of Ga

Agree

January 3rd, 2012
6:23 am

P B Orr….
I agree with you! GSP is at fault for it does not take more than one cop to handle a motorcylist failing to yield-get the plate number and end the pursuit- The motorcylist was down on I-20 not up on memorial drive ramming his patrol car into the Porter’s SUV! I It kills me when even a low speed chase is occuring and you have 12 cop cars following behind just for a momentary adrenaline rush and the coffee talk later on.
The unfortunate problem is that if the Porter Family sues the State, we citizens will end up footing the bill from the State Treasury for the idiot GSP’s vehicular homicide. Meanwhile he’ll be back on the streets after his administrative leave is over to do it again-
I have no respect for any officer that forgets that his vehicle is also a weapon that can kill just as the gun they carry can .
The Laws have to be re-written to stop the foolishness of the “Whatever it takes to get the ticket revenue mentality, even if it kills someone” coupled with the high of the adrenaline rush they get in unsafe high speed pursuits. Because they know that the police chief is going to cover for them, they put morals aside to step outside of the law and feel comfortable to jepordize the safety of whomever.
We the citizens of Georgia have to contact our legislature and get it on the ballot like we did Sunday Alcohol sales and get it passed!!!! If our Senators and Congressmen that represent us don’t get it, then they need to get gone. We either talk about it or do about it….plan and simple-

Frank

January 3rd, 2012
6:42 am

I talked to a retired trooper and he said you do NOT run a RED light .Against GSP safety codes….The trooper will have a desk job when this is all over………

[...] for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainer – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Memorial for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainerAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)In lieu of flowers, the family of the late Kathy Porter has [...]

[...] for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainer – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Memorial for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainerAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)In lieu of flowers, the family of the late Kathy Porter has [...]

dcauthen

January 3rd, 2012
6:50 am

@ Tim: If it were that cut and dry they wouldn’t be doing an investigation and just because they have lights and sirens on doesn’t mean they can do no wrong.

[...] for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainer – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Memorial for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainerAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)In lieu of flowers, the family of the late Kathy Porter has [...]

Agree

January 3rd, 2012
7:01 am

Frank, if I slap a coworker in my office, i’m fired-
This cop killed an innocent person due to negligence, he should not have a job in public safety ever again….period.
I say we put the Porter Law on the ballot that if the pursuing officer has a dash cam and the pursuit exceeds posted speed limits or enters an area of pedestrians end the pursuit.
Just record the assailant’s actions with the dash cam and plate number and end the pursuit before the situation escalates out of control that can cause injury and/or death to innicent citizens and even the officer as well in which neither of these outcomes are worth it-

SuperTrooper

January 3rd, 2012
7:19 am

Its just too bad that that the “Super Trooper” refused to yield at a red light and caused a death.
The BIG question is:
“Will he be held accountable and responsible for a vehicular homicide as any ordinary person would be charged with?”
Surely he is ’suffering’ with the guilt that he possibly feels now, but would he do it again?
According to the witnesses accounts, the trooper ran the red light. Blue lights or not does not relieve him of the responsibility to drive with care nor do the lights and siren give him carte blanche to violate laws all are supposed to held accountable for.
Thinking that he sould at least do probation and never work as a law enforcement officer due to his blantant disregard for human life.
All over a failure to yield….. PITIFUL.

Elmer

January 3rd, 2012
7:25 am

I am surprised that many people on this board seem to have finally gotten over the mentality of giving cops a free pass just because they are cops. It has always baffled my mind that these troopers will blow past you on the interstate doing 110MPH just to pull someone over for a minor infraction and yet no one sees the hypocrisy in this? How are those speeds not endangering other drivers? In no way am I saying that some chases aren’t justified but the police are out of control in this country and no one wants to admit it. Cops have the menatality they have today becasue they have been getting a free pass for too long, the same laws apply to them. You can rest assured if Jeff Porter had hit the GSP and caused injury or death even if he had the green light charges would be waiting for him.

James

January 3rd, 2012
7:40 am

I can’t tell you how many times, the most unsafe driving I see all day is from Atlanta police. I hate to say it, but I can just picture how this officer was speeding with no regard for anything in his path, in effect showing off, or living out some super car chase fantasy. The coulple that witnessed it and was on the local news Saturday evening summed it up best, “He was going way too fast” and “This was avoidable.” I give condolences to the family and can’t imagine the sadness they are feeling. Something has to be done about the intelligence level of our police officers.

Road Scholar

January 3rd, 2012
7:49 am

First, my condolences to the Poerter family and to the police officer. The unexpected loss of life is a tragedy.

When I heard the initial reaction of the GSP that he was going up a hill and may not have seen the light, I immediately thought that this was a cover up to justify what happened. The “hill” is a very gradual upgrade with good sight distance to the signal heads. No mention of any hazards or trucks which could have blocked his vision; even though his vision may have been blocked or that he was distracted, the hill is not that steep. Having worked nearby and having to cross the intersection in a car and street on foot multiple times a day for 30 years, the sight distance to the signal and intersection is more than adequate.

As with most crashes, human error is the cause.

Celgo

January 3rd, 2012
7:50 am

Would love to know what the person the police were chasing was under suspicion of….The patrolman that hit Porter’s vehicle was not even the main pursuer. He was just joining the chase. Absolutely senseless. Most criminals being chased are not exactly rocket scientists; if you don’t catch them at that moment, give it a day or two….they will do something stupid and get picked up. However all of that said, unfortunately when your number is up, its up, regardless of circumstance. The biggest pain is always the “why” question, which only God really knows the answer to. As much as they are hurting, by all accounts the Porter’s are God loving and decent people. I pray that God heals their families pain sooner than later and to as great a degree as possible.

steve

January 3rd, 2012
8:07 am

Why in God’s name do we let these idiots drive public safety vehicles. Why do we as the public, allow deaths to occur all in the name of trying to go catch a speeder on I-20!! These cops strap on a badge and suddenly think they are king of the universe. Why do we chase people in cop cars!!!! Why!! Does killing one person in a wreck caused by a speeding cop outweigh catching someone for speeding, jaywalking, bank robbery!!!! NOOOOOO… STOP CHASING CARS!!!

Rodster

January 3rd, 2012
8:16 am

Deepest sympathy and condolences to the Porter family.

Police car chases are too dangerous to innocent people on the roads. For once, I side with the posters who call for the police agencies to seriously curtail high speed chases. Particularly in ATL. This was just senseless and completely avoidable.

mountain_jim

January 3rd, 2012
8:30 am

My prayers with the families.

I am sad that this ‘memorial’ thread devolved into the blame-game and finger pointing, which could have been saved for some other thread.

Thinker

January 3rd, 2012
8:34 am

Amazing. The same public that complains about a cop speeding is the same public that complains when a cop doesn’t pursue or turn on blue lights when they witness someone speeding by them. I had a friend two days ago submit a complaint on a cop because she felt he should have pulled a speeding driver over–the drive was going over 90+ mph on the highway. The cop just ignored them–I guess the cop for wrong for not chasing huh? You see…you hate them until you need them, then you complain about and on them when they are not there. This is a TRAGIC ACCIDENT! My prayers goes out to all!

mama was right!

January 3rd, 2012
8:37 am

My prayers go out to Jeff Porter and family!!!

Shelley

January 3rd, 2012
8:43 am

Kathy Porter lost her life because a State Patrol officer was getting ready to chase a motorcyclist that had failed to YIELD!!!! The motorcyclist hadn’t hurt anyone, hadn’t robbed a bank, hadn’t stolen the motorcycle, hadn’t started a fire……the motorcyclist had failed to YIELD! Why would another officer need backup to help with a motorcyclist that had failed to yield??? Must have been a slow chase day. Tens of thousands of people were making their way to the Dome that day just like the Porters. Signs over the highway said to expect congestion. That State Patrol officer disreguarded the safety of all the law abiding people on the road that day to chase a person who’s only crime was to fail to yield. My prayers are for the Porter family.

JeanE

January 3rd, 2012
8:46 am

My heart goes out to Jeff Porter and his family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through! I admit I’m jaded about law enforcement causing accidents. My Mom was involved in one, luckily it wasn’t serious but too many law officers think it’s a license to drive however they want and it absolutely isn’t. Her life could have been spared had he slowed down and not barrelled through the intersection! It will haunt that person the rest of their lives, I hope they are stuck in a desk job forever.

Buzzman

January 3rd, 2012
8:46 am

To @Tim, Georgia law states that the emergency vehicle does have the right of way, but must clear all intersections, by clearing all intersections that means they must slow down or even stop to make sure no vehicles are proceeding through the intersection. Just because they have their lights and siren on does not give them the right to blow through intersections.

William

January 3rd, 2012
8:52 am

As a retired law enforcement officer I am aware of chase guidelines. First of all, the idiot they were chasing was not an escaped murderer or other serious felon. Therefore, even more caution should have been used by the officer. Secondly, you never go high speeds in an area where the public is more prevelant (downtown in a conjested area). I suspect new guidelines on chases will come out of this very soon.

[...] for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainer – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) Memorial for Kathy Porter, wife of Braves trainerAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)In lieu of flowers, the family of the late Kathy Porter has [...]

Elmer

January 3rd, 2012
9:01 am

Mountain Jim I am sure everyone on here feels awful for everyone involved and means no disrespect by discussing this terrible incident but this is the place to discuss to it. The guest book is the place for offering sympathy and you would be correct in saying that is not the place to discuss or place blame. Maybe if enough people finally speak out about issues such as this instead of pretending there is no problem things will actually change.

Joe

January 3rd, 2012
9:03 am

A senseless tragedy but not a surprise at all. As a resident of Downtown Atlanta, it is not uncommon at all to see cops (both city and GSP) blow through intersections with no lights or sirens on. If you’re lucky..maybe you’ll get a quick blip of the lights as they pass through.

Jasmine Terse

January 3rd, 2012
9:03 am

Law Enforcement need to use caution when driving as well. It’s scary to know a police car could come flying 100 miles an hour at me and I have zero seconds to get out of the way. In my home state of Maryland we had a police officer that chased a speeding motorcyclist and it resulted in an innocent son and father being killed and the motorcyclist still got away.

Bill in Nebraska

January 3rd, 2012
9:20 am

“As a former Police Officer and GBI Agent, I can attest that the trooper’s car out-ran his siren when he hit 35 mph…” – Mike

I didn’t realize the speed of sound was 35 mph…I thought it was 768 mph…

but still......................

January 3rd, 2012
9:21 am

The issue of intent is just not a defense. Of course the officer didn’t INTEND to kill anyone. But………………neither does the drunk driver. Yet…………….it HAPPENS, and……………..the driver is held accountable……whether he meant to kill anyone or nor and regardles off what a fine person he or she might be.

mike

January 3rd, 2012
9:36 am

It’s understandable for those defending law enforcement but isn’t the point of preventing and containing chase scenarios for safety of the public? So is it OK to drive recklessly if you’re on your way to assist in chasing a vehicle down?

I don’t know. It’s all perspective depending on what side you look at it from. I just think its silly that a police officer would put drivers at risk when their ultimate goal is to maintain safety for them.

SG Bigtime

January 3rd, 2012
9:54 am

LEO’s driving too fast is not just in chases. It’s if they are going to a meeting, going to lunch, going home, etc. If they are in their work vehicles, a lot of them speed all of the time, simply because they can. Most will tell you that, with a wink and a nod, ” I was on a call”. I call BS on all of that. I think we need to randomly monitor their car’s speeds so they will have to obey traffic laws or face being fired. If you are legitimately going on a call, I’m all for getting there as fast as it is safely possible to do so. Going to meet your buddies for lunch and just running late, I don’t think so.

M.D.

January 3rd, 2012
10:04 am

Reckless Speeding is never safe.

JD

January 3rd, 2012
10:06 am

You can tell by some of the comments, that some of you have had bad experiences with law enforcement. Objectively, if the officer ran the red light, even if his emergency equipment was on, he is at fault. His dash cam is automatically activated when his emergency equipment is turned on, so there is irrefutable evidence. Chases are one of the most dangerous situations for both the officer and the public, which is why there are restrictions placed on when, where and for what a chase should be initiated or continued.
What is to be remembered today is that this mother has died and was taken before her time. Pray for her family.

Humbug

January 3rd, 2012
10:06 am

The GSP says this trooper had his lights and siren on. Eye witnesses say he did not.
The GSP says he was traveling up a hill that reduced his line of sight. A person who walks across this street several times daily says the hill is slight and does not reduce ones line of sight to the intersection where the wreck occured.
The GSP says the trooper was enroute to chase a speeder on I-20.
The speeder was already being chased so this trooper was enroute to join the other units already in the chase.
If other officers were already on I-20 chasing the speeder could not catch him what chance did this trooper have to travel thru congested traffic simply to reach I-20 have of catching the speeder?
The Jeff Porter family was simply on a family outing that called for driving to a football game at the dome in heavy traffic. Ms. Porter was sacrificed, her husband, son, and a friend were injured. What a tragic ending to this family outing because a GSP trooper was in too big of a hurry to join in a high speed chase some miles away.

really?

January 3rd, 2012
10:11 am

Really?…This is really sad for everytone involed. Those two cars must have been really crowded with all of the “experts” in this thread riding in them. Until you are in that car, shut your mouth. Must be nice to hide behind a computer and talk trash. The next time you need help, please call a friend and not the Police Officers you are all talking trash about.

Billy

January 3rd, 2012
10:12 am

Let’s start at the beginning. If that jerk punk on the motorcycle had not been eluding the police and breaking many laws in doing so, the tragedy would have never happened. My anger is pointed towards the motorcycle punk

Factsiz

January 3rd, 2012
10:12 am

S H O W B O A T I N G.
Simple as that.

extremus

January 3rd, 2012
10:13 am

My condolences and prayers are with the Porter family AND for the trooper, whom I am certain right now is having a very difficult time. Whether the accident was in fact caused by negligence or not, the end result has been devastating for everyone involved, and they all need our prayers right now.

This terrible incident is a sobering reminder just how tenuous our existence on this Earth is. My hope is that everyone involved will have swift healing physically and, as much as possible, emotionally. Life goes on even when we are hurting so badly we wish it wouldn’t.

Sad Situation

January 3rd, 2012
10:14 am

This is a terrible and sad situation for everyone involved and no one meant for this to happen.
In 99.9% of pursuits the trooper has no idea why the violator is refusing to stop only that he’s trying to stop him for a violation and it can only be known after the violator is stopped as to why he refused to stop….bank robbery, murder, rape, no license or just plain stupid. The trooper involved had a dash cam so that will be used to determine exactly what happend from his view point. It will display if he had his lights and siren on and also has sound so they can hear what was going on inside his vehicle. Prayers for everyone involved.

Bernie

January 3rd, 2012
10:16 am

May God be with you Mr. Porter and your family

Come on Man

January 3rd, 2012
10:17 am

Having the “right of way” doesn’t give you the right to plow in to someone. Sorry, but that is not the way it works. We yield to them but the emergency vehicle has an equal responsibility to exercise caution. What is the benefit when you cause and accident, kill someone while responding to an accident?

At the end of the day, a mother and wife was lost. So sorry for the family.

Susie Q

January 3rd, 2012
10:21 am

One day before this incident, I was stopped by TWO state troopers who used both lights and sirens to pull me over. A local cop then assisted them, and all three jumped out of their cars with their “show-me-your-hands” attitute…all because I had forgotten to put the sticker, which was in my glove compartment, on my tag. Sometimes law enforcement officials are too eager and ego-driven! Rest in peace, Mrs. Porter!

Billy

January 3rd, 2012
10:25 am

Penalties for trying to elude the police should be raised to such a severe level those that attempt it may think first. A vehicle becomes a deadly weapon in the hands of even the most experienced drivers. Eluders put so many lives at risk and cause property damage in their wake. Eluders need to have the book thrown at them and be used as an example and make eluding the horrible despicable act that it truly is.

Common Sense

January 3rd, 2012
10:29 am

Common sense says that if you have enough speed at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive to cause a fatality collision you are beyond reckless. The officer is not fit to be driving . . . any vehicle. This event is unjustifiable, and it may well be homicide.
I know that blaming this misguided officer won’t bring Kathy back. However, it is a teachable moment. Bad judgement by a public safety officer cost an innocent life. If the officer’s actions were consistent with GSP policy, then that policy is flawed. And that means the entire GSP committed this homicide through implementation of a policy that exhibits a wanton disregard for human life.

ILOVETHEBRAVES

January 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

If you can’t send condolences, just go away. You’re so rude. Prayers to everyone involved.

Right of Way

January 3rd, 2012
10:32 am

The motorist who provoked the high speed chase by their willful violation of public safety laws is responsible for this death. If that motorist is found to be guilty of any felony related to the pursuit they must also be charged with felony murder in the death of Kathy Porter.

Sovereign Immunity

January 3rd, 2012
10:37 am

In order for the Porters to state a tort claim against the GSP they must first show that the officer was acting within the scope of his duties or that he acted outside the scope of his duties and that the GSP had prior knowledge of the risk that he might do so. Beyond that they must show that the officer acted negligently and that GSP was negligent in failing to prevent the officer’s actions.
In other words, the GSP will hide behind sovereign immunity even though it is obvious to anyone who cares to learn the facts that the officer’s actions were entirely inconsistent with reasonable safety standards.

IHATETHEGSP

January 3rd, 2012
10:40 am

This isn’t necessarily a condolence page; it’s a public comments section on a newspaper’s website.
If that is confusing to you, maybe you should apply for a job as a Georgia State Trooper. I hear they’re looking for your type.
Oh, and my condolences to the Porter family.

Billy

January 3rd, 2012
10:42 am

Condolences can be expressed and a guest book signed online by clicking this link. And can be found as the last sentence in this article

NotYou

January 3rd, 2012
10:44 am

Susie Q – What in the world does your traffic stop have to do with this incident or trooper? People get pulled over all the time. I’ve been pulled over several times by GSP and all had a great attitude and let me slide on stuff that local cops would not have. Does that mean all troopers are great? No. Your non-related “story” does nothing but demonstrate how easily you pass judgment.

Rhonda

January 3rd, 2012
10:47 am

Donald Crozier should be charged with murder. But, seeing that he’s an “LEO”, I’m sure no charges will be filed and he will be exonerated since the LEOs are “investigating” their own. My heart hurts for the Porter family.

NOT above the law

January 3rd, 2012
10:53 am

I’m glad to see all the people on here demanding accountability of the police in this incident, I wish more were skeptical of every case in which police are involved, especially when considering their testimony in a court of law. The police do not live by the same rules as they ask us to live and this should be changed, please write letters and make phone calls to your representatives to demand that this take place.
The article states that the trooper was treated at the hospital and released, this would not be the case were a citizen involved in a wreck of this nature, even if the citizen claimed they were rushing to the hospital due to an emergency. The citizen would have been arrested, charged, and had a (possible) bond set, then the court system would be the citizens chance to prove their innocence or guilt; the same should have been done in this case. Was the officer subjected to a blood or breath test to check if they had any drugs or alcohol in their system that could have caused impaired judgement? You can bet any one of us would have been, and if that test showed amphetamines (sinus medication) or opiates (painkillers, poppy seed bagels), we would be accused or driving under the influence and forced to prove our innocence (why yes, I do have a receipt from the deli for my poppy seed bagel with everything, but I don’t have the receipt from the drug store for my over the counter decongestant – guilty says the law!); the police should have the same standards applied to them. But guess what, in many states (not sure about Ga), the police officers union has rules that the police cannot be drug tested, how convenient for them.
I’m sick of the double standard and hope this trooper does jail time just like you or I would.

Rhonda

January 3rd, 2012
10:56 am

When a LEO is killed, THOUSANDS of their “brothers and sisters” attend the funeral to show the power of the State. It’s a shame that THOUSANDS of us can’t show up somewhere, line the streets, salute the fallen Kathy Porter, and show that WE WILL NOT CONTINUE TO PUT UP WITH THE SENSELESS MURDER OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS BY LEOs WHO ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE.

sad sad sad

January 3rd, 2012
10:58 am

My heart hurts for the porter family,

Jeannie

January 3rd, 2012
10:59 am

My condolences to the family and prayers to the trooper. I think the fact that the family asked those touched by this tragedy to donate to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta speaks volumes as what type of person she must have been. Loving and giving why don’t we honor her memory instead of making ourselves feel better with our meaningless opinions.

Shawn

January 3rd, 2012
11:03 am

Tim seriously if you knew the law then you would know that when your running lights and sireins you are asking for the right away. You cant drive 10 MHP over the speed limit and only 15 MHP over the speed limit on the interstate. I could see a rookie doing this trying to be GUNG HO. But a 10 year vet come on. Also why would a law officer try and catch a motorcycle and much more to assist in one. The only time your going to catch a motorcyle if if he wrecks. OR ITS IN THE MOVIES. SERIOUSLY TIM THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK !!!!!!!!!

Senseless Tragedy

January 3rd, 2012
11:07 am

I think Jeannie’s comment shows that she is exceptionally astute, caring, and above all, compassionate. Let’s all take a moment to reflect on what a keen observer Jeannie is. We are all blessed to have someone as intuitive and insightful as Jeannie with whom to share this message board. Even in the worst of situations, like the one that has tragically befallen the Porter family, at least we can comfort in knowing that individuals with the wisdom and grace of Jeannie are here to bring clarity and vision to this comments section.

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