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Wife of Braves trainer Jeff Porter killed in car accident

Jan 1, 2012, 1:46 AM EDT

Martin Prado, Jeff Porter AP

Braves head trainer Jeff Porter lost his wife, Kathy, Saturday when the family’s SUV collided with a Georgia State Patrol cruiser just north of Turner Field in Atlanta.

Jeff Porter was at the wheel when the unidentified state police officer collided with his SUV in an intersection. Reports indicate the officer was responding to a call for assistance in a high-speed chase nearby. The officer was treated for injuries and released from the hospital.

Jeff Porter, his 19-year-old son, David, and a family friend were also taken to the hospital and released.

The Braves released the following statement after the accident:

The Braves family is deeply saddened and shocked to learn about the tragic accident today involving the family of head athletic trainer Jeff Porter and the death of his wife, Kathy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff and Kathy’s family, their son, David, and all their friends and loved ones.

Jeff Porter has worked for the Braves since 1985 and served as the team’s head trainer since 2003.

  1. erlynx - Jan 1, 2012 at 3:34 AM

    My prayers are with them.

  2. rollinghighwayblues - Jan 1, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    A truly saddening and horrific story. I extend my deepest apologies and prayers for the Porter family. I am very sorry.

  3. JMil_ATL - Jan 1, 2012 at 5:40 AM

    My prayers go out to all. Truly a sad moment.

  4. streatordave - Jan 1, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    Is it really worth it to have cops breaking traffic laws like running a red light or stop sing to catch a driver & give them a speeding ticket? Was it worth a human life? I taught Defensive Driving & I don’t have an answer to this kind of incident except to pray.

    • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      An awful story. My condolences to the Porter family and friends in their time of grief and loss, but also to the police officer, who will also have to live with his feelings of guilt and responsibility for the rest of his life.

      streatordave: I agree. High speed chases within an urban environment are incredibly dangerous. I keep reading that law enforcement agencies are minimizing them – and then I keep reading about innocents being hurt or killed because of them, whether hit by the police cars or the fleeing perpetrators. This is what helicopters are for.

      But let’s be fair: we don’t know who was at fault in that intersection yet. Did Porter get distracted by the sirens and lights and coast through a light or stop sign, or did the cop barrel through the controls at that crossroad? We don’t know yet. I don’t know how you taught it, but I recall – no mean feat at my age – being taught as a teenager in driving school to pull over and stop when I heard ambulance or police sirens.

      • Kevin S. - Jan 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        Porter had the green light.

      • Old Gator - Jan 1, 2012 at 9:27 PM

        Then it’s really tragic – he just didn’t pick up on the oncoming police car, lights, sirens and all – or, in that tragic split second, looked in the wrong direction to see where the sound was coming from. Either way, just an awful, awful story.

        But worse – the cop who hit him wasn’t even directly involved in pursuit of the fleeing motorcycle; he was just heading for the interstate entrance so that he could join it. I know it’s hard to insinuate oneself into a situation you weren’t part of, but since it’s not like the trooper was trying to keep the fleeing cycle in view, what possible excuse did he have for failing to slow down at intersections as he headed for the expressway ramp? You just can’t assume that other drivers know you’re coming.

  5. rgledz - Jan 1, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    @ Old Gator…..

    Can we take a minute and stop worrying about the officer? I’ll bet he has this incident in his rear view mirror in no time. Meanwhile this husband and son have to deal with this nightmare for the rest of their lives, especially because they lived it. By the way, in 2000 I was hit by a cop flying through a red light at about 60 MPH (in a 30 MPH zone}. He didn’t have on his lights, sirens or anything, so let’s stop assuming that the officer wasn’t negligent and placing the negligence on the civilian. Cops screw up too. This guy will get paid leave for a month and then back to business as usual. Poor guy.

    • Old Gator - Jan 2, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      I don’t see how this tragedy is an occasion for you to vomit spite into this discussion and universalize what happened to you into the gold standard for assessing all such incidents. You don’t know this cop, who has made a terrible error in judgment, and you certainly don’t know that he’s blown off a death he caused. Moreover, you apparently didn’t read my post directly above wherein I criticized the cop for tearing through an intersection when he was not in fact engaged in pursuit of the fleeing motorcyclist at the time of the accident.

      Sorry you got hit, but that was then, a different cop, and different circumstances. Save your cynicism for some other discussion where it doesn’t dishonor the pathos of this unfortunate circumstance.

  6. skids003 - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Condolances to all involved, especially the Porter family. Very classy people. Hearts out to them.

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