Fatal police chase details released - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fatal police chase details released

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June 28, 2007

Albany-  Questions over a fatal police chase into Lee County that took two lives; was it necessary?

Albany Dougherty Drug Unit officers say they knew the suspect and had warrants for his arrest when they pursued 32 year old Bobby Jones into Lee County.

Agents got a tip that Jones was near the corner of Odom and Dorsett Avenue. ADDU Corporal Gary Price, an 8 year police veteran, spotted Jones car on North Jefferson and pursued him. Jones is said to have picked up speed as he traveled North Jefferson and sped up as he crossed Philema Road and drove into Lee County.

Jones collided with an oncoming car as he swerved into the oncoming lane near a railroad crossing, in this curve on Old Leesburg Road. The driver of the southbound car, 21 year old Billy Klewitz, was killed along with Jones.

The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team Thursday mapped the scene in an attempt to determine how fast Jones was driving. Jones had three outstanding warrants for distribution of cocaine, marijuana, and driving under a suspended license. Because officers knew Jones and had warrants for his arrest, they didn't have to chase him.

The Albany Police Department has a no chase policy, and Corporal Gary Price is an Albany Police Officer appointed to the drug unit. Sheriff Jamil Saba, who is chairman of the Narcotics Board for ADDU, said the drug unit's policy is slightly different. It's a judgement call by the drug agent whether to chase a suspect.

"You've got to use your judgement and what do you do? We don't want this 100 mile per hour speed, no. But we think you need to keep up enough speed, 45 to 65 speed is not bad, as long as you can keep that guy in sight. You got other cars out. That's the reason you call Lee County to come that way and for that part of it, unless he had double murder or whatever you know, we'll get him later," said Sheriff Jamil Saba.

ADDU agents did find 13 grams of cocaine they say Jones tossed from his car near the crash scene. Officer Price is on desk duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

There is dash board video of the chase, but because it is considered evidence it has been turned over to the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team.

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