GSP issues report on fatal police chase - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

GSP issues report on fatal police chase

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August 23, 2007


Lee County --  An Albany Drug Agent in a high speed chase that killed two people, reached speeds of up to 96 miles per hour before the crash. That contradicts initial claims that Corporal Gary Price was only driving 45 to 60MPH.

It ended on Old Leesburg Road June 27th, near the Morgan Estates Mobile Home Park. Drug suspect Bobby Jones collided head on with 21-year-old Winn Dixie employee Billy Klewitz. Both were killed.

Now the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team has released its speed analysis of the chase indicating how fast Jones and the officer were going. Over the four mile chase route from Seventh Avenue to the crash, the average speed for both Jones and Corporal Gary Price was 80 miles per hour.

"If they knew who this suspect was, they knew him, they knew where he lived, they had previous warrants or old warrants," said Billy's Father, Bill Klewitz. "Why did they have to continue to chase at whatever mile per hour?

As they crossed Philema Road to the crash site the average speed of Jones' Cadillac was 96 miles per hour, the speed limit is posted 35, then 45 miles per hour. Using the dash camera video, Sergeant Jeffrey Kidd deduced Price was relatively at the same speed as Jones, because his cruiser neither lost or gained ground.

ADDU Policy and Review board member Ken Hodges today again offered the families condolences, and said while he hadn't heard the report, internally they've been reviewing the case.

"Everything that I've been told from the commander of the drug unit who has also reviewed everything we have up until now is that the officer acted appropriately," Hodges said.

In fact, the preliminary report reveals that Bobby Jones' car was going 98MPH as it rounded the bend and attempted to pass another car, and braked only slightly before it slammed head on into Bill Klewitz.

"I drive this road twice a day to and from work, it's a constant reminder, and right now, I'm just asking why? I don't have the answers, maybe some day I will. I don't know," Klewitz said. 

The full report on the chase and crash is expected in the next several weeks. Corporal Gary Price was placed on administrative duty following the crash and has since returned to regular duty.

Hodges said if ADDU needs to make a policy change based on the findings in the report, ADDU is prepared to do that, although he added at this point they don't believe the officer's actions were inappropriate.

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