Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed APD officer - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed APD officer

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ATLANTA -

A woman was sentenced to 16 years in jail after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter in the death of an Atlanta police officer.

Chasity Jones is accused of driving while intoxicated and crashing her vehicle into a police cruiser, killing Senior Officer Gail Thomas in January 2012.

Thomas was positioning her patrol car on the interstate to assist motorists and emergency responders when she was struck.

Police officers packed the courtroom as the judge handed down the maximum possible sentence under the plea bargain to Jones.

At one point in Friday's hearing, the attorney for Jones called an expert who questioned whether Thomas pulled her cruiser over safely. But a city expert said Jones should have had plenty of time to see the vehicle. 

"I remember the accident like it was yesterday. I continue to have dreams about it. I know I was in the wrong to get behind the wheel while I was drinking," said Jones.

Fellow officers said that Thomas was a beloved figure in the department.

"It was very hard for my crew and it took them months to get over this. I had to do the best I can to, you know, help them out, but it was tough for them to understand the loss and the fact that their mother figure won be there," said Lt. Jeff Cantin of the Atlanta Police Department.

Authorities said that Jones registered a blood-alcohol content level of .155. The legal limit in Georgia is .08.

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