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Passengers mum about fatal wreck that killed officer


Posted on Jan 27, 2012

By Richard Elliot

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. —

The family of the Atlanta police officer killed in the line of duty is busy dealing with their loss and with planning the officer's funeral, according to the department. The department's Chaplain's Officer is assisting.

Senior Police Officer Gail Thomas died when she was struck by a car along Interstate 75 late Tuesday night as she worked a traffic accident scene. Police charged Chasity Jones, 22, with vehicular homicide, DUI and failure to yield.

Channel 2 Action News obtained a list of names and addresses of the three other passengers in Jones' car and attempted to contact them to find out more about the crash and the events leading up to it.

No one answered the doors at Stephen Pearson's Gwinnett County homeor at Fred Jones' East Cobb County home.

Police listed Katherine Gilliam as the backseat passenger. A friend said she was at her Lawrenceville home, but declined to answer the door.

"She says she doesn't want to talk because she's very traumatized by this whole situation," said Courtney Brooks. Brooks claimed to be friends with all three passengers and said all three are devastated by the fatal accident.

"I know all three of them that was in the car," said Brooks. "They were all badly injured. They all have visions in their heads that will never go away anymore."

Police said Thomas had stopped to assist another officer at the accident scene late Tuesday night. According to investigators, she was exiting her cruiser when Jones hit her. Thomas died at the scene.

Brooks said passenger Gilliam suffered cuts and scratches in the crash and is having trouble dealing with the tragedy.

"She didn't want to watch the news because of the whole fact of she didn't want to see the face of the officer," said Brooks before she entered Gilliam's home.

Jones remains in the Fulton County Jail without bond.

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Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia