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Georgia State Patrol fires trooper involved in crash that killed wife of Braves trainer

Jan 6, 2012, 12:57 PM EDT

Martin Prado, Jeff Porter AP

Georgia State Patrol announced that trooper Donald Crozier was fired yesterday after being involved in the New Year’s Eve crash that killed the wife of Braves trainer Jeff Porter.

Department of Public Safety commissioner Mark W. McDonough issued the following statement:

Immediately following the crash, I requested the resources of the Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team, the department’s Special Investigations Division, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Fulton County District Attorney’s office in the follow-up investigations.

The investigations are continuing and the findings from each will be presented to District Attorney Paul Howard for his consideration of charges when the investigations are concluded. Although this personnel action has been taken, this will in no way change the focus of the investigations.

Jeff Porter was driving with Kathy Porter in the passenger seat and two children in the backseat when they were struck by Dozier’s patrol car in an intersection at around 4:30 pm Saturday.

According to the State Patrol’s statements Dozier was speeding while in pursuit of a motorcyclist and “failed to use due regard when traveling through the intersection on a red traffic signal.” Beyond that, Mike Morris of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that witnesses to the crash observed Dozier’s siren not being on, although his blue lights were flashing.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I can’t even imagine what Mr. Porter is going through. That’s a nightmare. Him and his children are in my thoughts.

  2. rexadelphia8 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    F ‘n pigs

    • bigharold - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:47 AM

      Succinct, complete moronic bullshit but you do get right to the point.

      Perhaps in the future you should avail yourself of the strategy of keeping your mouth shut, figuratively speaking, and having people only think your an imbecile?

  3. test2402 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Cops think they are above the law. Most are criminals themselves. This guy deserves prison.

    • hammyofdoom - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      Yes this guy DOES deserve prison, but the first half of your comment makes me gag

      • baseballisboring - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        A LOT of cops are fucking scumbags.

      • paperlions - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:18 PM

        It might make you gag…but the more cops I interact with the more evidence I have that it is true. In general, cops are more interested in protecting each other and gaming the system for personal benefit that doing any kind of protecting or serving.

      • damnyankee13 - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        whether you believe it or not, sad to say, some do

      • JBerardi - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:26 PM

        “Yes this guy DOES deserve prison, but the first half of your comment makes me gag”

        Makes you gag? Because someone doesn’t respect police officers? They work for us, you know.

      • Old Gator - Jan 6, 2012 at 11:41 PM

        Yeah, they do. A lot of people “work for us.” But most of them don’t hang their asses out in front of a bullet on a daily basis to keep your blowhard ass intact.

        I do hope all you idiots who have nothing good to say about cops never need one. “Most” cops are like “most” people – however, there are, in any random sampling of law officers, most likely a lower percentage of total blind ungrateful schmucks than in a random sampling of this thread.

      • tadthebad - Jan 7, 2012 at 7:31 AM

        Gator, you’re right. However, you fail to consider that as a group, internal protection of cops who have committed crimes is scandalous, dangerous and omnipresent. In that they are just like most groups: unions, corporations, government entities, etc. And, cops also have the benefit of being near the top of the local legal food chain. The offending police officer was in the wrong and punished severely, but is that the norm? Based on my exposure, I’d have to say no.

      • kingvorp - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

        the only thing i NEED a cop for is to file a police report after i get mugged because they couldn’t stop it.

  4. dowhatifeellike - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    isn’t it a requirement to have sirens on when going through a red? drivers don’t (and shouldn’t need to) look left and right when proceeding forward on green.

    • Jonny 5 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      Most states require an “official” to stop, or at least slow down before running a light. This happens too often imo with police. I noticed rarely do Ambulance or Fire truck drivers get into fatal collisions like this and they should follow the same guide lines imo.

    • lovesmesomeme - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      What a stupid f****ing question? What is this a baseball blog or a DMV test?

  5. billb09 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    It is a shame both families are going through such a nightmare. We do not know the details yet but the officer was sowing his job. Where is. The mention of the motorcyclist he should be going to prison and for all calling police pigs and criminals …….. Forget 911. Next time you or a family member are in need. God bless and watch over these families. Tragic.

    • Detroit Michael - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Fortunately, the First Amendment prevents the government for putting people in prison merely for expressing their speech. You are over reacting, just like the posters on the other end of the spectrum who are calling cops “f’n pigs” and saying that most of them are criminals.

      • jlabar - Jan 9, 2012 at 1:16 AM

        Preach the wrong tune to loudly and I am sure our wonderful Government will love to show you what to do with that first ammendment.

  6. randall351 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    There should be a huge lawsuit that comes out of this.

  7. crusty14 - Jan 6, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I am a firefighter, and I drive quite regularly. I always stop at red lights and ensure the coast is clear, and that no oblivious driver will be coming through the intersection. I love my job and want to get to the call ASAP , be it a fire or a medical, but I will not put myself or m crew at risk, never mind another innocent party. The guilt of doing this would be crushing. My condolences to those involved in this sad, but avoidable incident.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:15 PM

      I too have noticed this of firefighters and paramedics. Unfotunately too often times drivers fail to yield the right of way. Cop should have had his sirens going. Tradgic, avoidable accident and condolenses to the Porter family. And crusty14, thank you for your service to whatever community you live in.

      • lovesmesomeme - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        And thank you myopinion for thanking the first guy for his community service.

  8. bleedgreen - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    If this guy wasn’t ‘semi-famous’ for being a member of the Braves coaching staff, would the trooper have been fired? I’m guess most likely not, as there are more than a few stories floating around of cops hitting people/getting into accidents that when their buddies show up, it immediately becomes the other person’s fault.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Although I’m not sure where you were going with the second part, I do agree with the first part. If that was Jane Smith that was killed, would they have fired that Trooper? I dunno.

      • bleedgreen - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        This is where I was going with it:

        http://www.republicmagazine.com/news/atrocity-in-californias-kern-county-deputy-runs-down-pedestrians-police-arrest-grieving-relatives.html

        “According to Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, “it may be months before an investigation determines exactly what happened Friday night when a sheriff’s deputy hit and killed two pedestrians in Oildale.” Police who responded to the incident took the deputy to the hospital — and arrested grieving relatives on the scene.
        Daniel Hiler ran out of gas during an evening motorcycle ride in Oildale, California on December 16. While walking his bike to a gas station, the twenty-year-old father of two ran into a family friend named Chrystal Jolley. The pair was crossing a street at a widely-recognized intersection when they were fatally blindsided by a vehicle traveling at a speed well in excess of the posted speed limit. Despite the fact that darkness had descended, the driver hadn’t turned on his headlights. The victims were killed instantly.
        Within minutes, police swarmed the scene, and arrests were made — none of which involved the driver, Deputy John Swearengin of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. The four people arrested were relatives of the victims, who got into what the Sheriff’s Office described as an “altercation” with California Highway Patrol officers when they attempted to identify the victims.”

      • bleedgreen - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:51 PM

        Also, the Deputy driving the car was not tested for drugs and alcohol because he ‘Did not seem like he was under the influence”.

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    It certainly sounds like the trooper made a mistake. I am sure that nobody is more aware of the mistake than him, and outside the Porter family, I am sure nobody feels worse about the consequences of his lapse in judgement.

    I can’t help but feel like someone who enlisted in a job for public service like the police should be given some amount of benefit of the doubt. If we are all going to scream about “innocent until proven guilty” for Jeff Freakin Bagwell, maybe some folks around here could offer the same courtesy to a person in a real-life situation.

    • bigharold - Jan 6, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      “… maybe some folks around here could offer the same courtesy to a person in a real-life situation.”

      Sure logic reason, .. where do you think that is going to get you around here?

    • drunkenhooliganism - Jan 6, 2012 at 7:05 PM

      A guy was killed here. In bagwell’s case we’re only risking putting a great player in the hall of fame. Im more willing to excuse the possibility of drug use than vehicular homicide. We’re certain that the cop had some responsibility here. We’re not even sure bagwell ever took a tylenol.

  10. hushbrother - Jan 6, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    A very sad story. Atlanta traffic is just the worst I have ever seen.

  11. barklikeadog - Jan 7, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Most people, Gator, don’t have guns and badges which cops think gives them the right to be assholes. Unfortunately, that ‘profession’ attracts alot of people who should be the last to have a gun and a badge. There are more good than bad, but there should be fewer bad apples in that role – not unlike politicians.

  12. glink123 - Jan 7, 2012 at 6:40 AM

    A dead mother of two children, all over a motorcycle traffic citation. Most likely, traffic cams already had enough to identify the motorcyclist, to the extent of being able to issue the citation. But what cop doesn’t love to “get his gun on”? Yes, I hate pigs, too. They killed my 19 year old brother back in 1984, while he was on a motorcycle. Chased him for not putting two feet down at a stop-sign.

    • dadawg77 - Jan 7, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      Wait sounds like your brother has lot of culpability in his own death. From the facts stated above he sped away after a police officer attempted to pull him over thus beginning the chase. Also opens up the next question, why would your brother run for a minor traffic offence? Several answers there would only add to your brother’s culpability.

  13. dieselfan44 - Jan 7, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Yes it looks like in this case that the officer failed to use caution…Yes I am a cop so here goes the soapbox speech. I saw where the officer was involved in 7 crashes since 2002 that were his fault…that appears to be either a lack of supervision or training. The other thing to look at is even though we wear a badge we are not all saints…meaning there are bad apples in every profession…doctors, lawyers, teachers, ect…we all see it on the news. I feel badly for Porter and his family and I know how I would feel if it happened to me. But those of you who are painting a broadstroke here that the police are bad in general are idiots. When was the last time you put your life on the line for anything. You sleep well at night because someone is out there protecting you. Remember that!

    • realgone2 - Jan 7, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Protecting me from what? It’s not like we are living in a mad max society. There are not roving gangs of cannibal rapists on every corner. So of course people will counter with: “well if it wasn’t for police then there would be lawlessness”. Well it’s the chicken and the egg argument. Law enforcement has been given too much power.

  14. detiger69 - Jan 7, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    “A lot of people ‘work for us.’ But most of them don’t hang their asses out in front of a bullet on a daily basis to keep your blowhard ass intact.”

    Old Gator you surprise me. You are usually very good at making witty, sound arguments without including personal attacks. What happened here?

    Most public servants do put their asses on the line. Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS, and Military personnel we all recognize. We tend to overlook the others. Postal Employees have been killed from bombings and anthrax attacks. Teachers come under regular attack in school shootings. Politicians need Secret Service protection and/or Bodyguards (Isn’t it the anniversary of Gabby Gifford’s shooting?). Judges get bomb and death threat for their rulings. The list goes on.

    Isn’t it time we stop vilifying our public servants.

    By the way, the J Berardi I know happens to have done a tour in Iraq serving in our Military. He has done his part to keep ALL of our blowhard asses intact. Thank you.

  15. realgone2 - Jan 7, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I really enjoy Old Gator’s posts, but I have to disagree on this one. I do not trust the police. I have met many unintelligent, holier than thou, or down right racist police officers. I live in Augusta, GA by the way. I had a female friend who was attacked outside her home. She lives on the main street in downtown Augusta. She called the cops from her cell. A neighbor chased the guy off and the police did not show up for 45 minutes. I’ve seen these so called “protectors” beat up teenagers outside of concerts because one of them mouthed off. The problem seems to stem from the fact that you do not have to have any kind of education beyond HS. On top of that, law enforcement has been given too much power by our “brilliant” politicians. The police here seem more focused on nailing people for speeding tickets and DUIs (which generates revenue for the city, county, and state) then actually helping anyone. I have the utmost respect for firemen, EMTs, teachers etc. I have none for law enforcement or the judicial system. The system is broken and until it’s fixed I’ll stay that way. Sorry if any of you disagree.

    • klingonj - Jan 7, 2012 at 8:04 PM

      realgone- I’m glad you can make the assumption that all of a profession are no good based on the vast quantity of law enforcement in augusta GA and the fact that your friend was attacked. A small college town (I know I lived in Georgia for 7 years) is a great statistical sampling. You sound like a fool

      • kingvorp - Jan 9, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        love when someone accusing someone else of generalization ends with a generalization

  16. woaflygirl - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    I know the officer involved in this accident and he is a great guy. He would never intentionally hurt anyone and was a great cop. I think he wouldnt have gotten fired if it wasnt such a high profile case. How many times do you actually see cops make a full stop before zooming thru an intersection to get to a call. Which doesnt make it right….of course no dumb criminal apprehention is worth loosing a life. I feel for the family of the life that was lost in this tragic accident and will be praying for them as well as don and his family.

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