Witness Gives Account of Tragic Wreck Involving Braves Trainer

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Georgia State Patrol released a few details Sunday about a crash that killed the wife of Braves trainer Jeff Porter, but one witness said the trooper was speeding moments before the collision.

Steve Bouye, who said he is employed with the federal prison system in Atlanta, had just gotten off work when he saw the trooper's cruiser zoom past at around 4:40 p.m. Saturday, he told the AJC. Bouye said he was preparing to turn out of a BP gas station at the time.

"As soon as I saw him go past I said ‘man I hope he doesn't hit nobody," Bouye said. "Seconds later I heard a big blast like a train crash."

Authorities said the cruiser struck a sport utility vehicle driven by Jeff Porter at the intersection of Capitol Avenue and Memorial Drive in downtown Atlanta. Kathy Porter died at the scene. Jeff Porter, his son David, 19, and a fourth passenger, Courtney Ann Williams, 18, of Grayson, also were hurt. Their conditions were not available Sunday.

The family was reportedly on the way to the Chick-Fil-A bowl.

Trooper First Class Donald Crozier, a 10-year veteran, was en route to assist in a chase on nearby Interstate 20. He was released from Grady Memorial Hospital after being treated for injuries Saturday night, according to Georgia State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright.

Wright 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 no new details were available Sunday and no accident report would be available until Tuesday when the office reopens.

"Any personnel actions related to the crash will be based on the findings of the various investigations," Wright added.

The trooper's lights and sirens were activated, according to Wright.

Bouye said that the trooper probably had difficulty seeing the stoplight at the intersection since it was at the crest of a hill.

Bouye said he and Jeff Porter tried unsuccessfully to pry open the door and free Kathy Porter as she faded in and out of consciousness after the wreck.

Bouye said he didn't realize that she had died until officers draped a white sheet over her.

"We had people out there trying to help an innocent family," Bouye said. "I know it caught them off-guard. It was sad. It bothered me the whole day yesterday. You could just tell that was a good loving family."

* Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this article.

The Law Office of Shane Smith would like to offer our condolences to the Porter family in their difficult time. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck, call HURT 999. Shane Smith Law will help you each step of the way.

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