Officer terminated after fatal crash - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Officer terminated after fatal crash

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Officer Alex Beard from the Memphis Police Department has been terminated after an investigation into the fatal crash that killed two people in August 2012.

The former 23-year-old police officer Beard was charged with Compliance with Regulations to wit:  Response to Call, Personal Conduct, and Damage to Motor Vehicle.

A week before Labor Day, Beard was traveling eastbound on Crump Boulevard in non-emergency mode in a marked 2009 Dodge Charger police cruiser when the crash occurred at Walnut Road.

Four people inside a 1996 Mercury Mystique that traveling westbound on Crump Boulevard, turned southbound on Walnut Road in front of Beard's cruiser and collided. After the impact, the police cruiser struck a pole.

Two passengers inside the Mercury died from their injuries - 13-year-old Mackala Ross and 54-year-old Delores Epp. The driver of the Mercury, a 48-year-old male, and another male passenger, age 47, were also injured in the two-car crash.

Former officer Beard, who had been with the police department since 2010, suffered non-critical injuries.

After the accident a lengthy investigation was conducted and revealed that while Beard was responding to a back-up request call, he was also traveling at a high rate of speed on a city street, and was operating his police cruiser in non-emergency mode, meaning he had no flashing lights or sirens going at the time of the crash.

MORE: Officer had no lights, no sirens in fatal crash

MORE: City police respond to fatal accident

Police Director Toney Armstrong said Tuesday after Beard was terminated from the force, he wanted to let the public know this action taken by the department is an example of how seriously he takes public safety. He also said that misconduct by his officers will not be tolerated.

"Regardless of how long it takes us to get to the truth, and regardless of long it takes for us to hold these hearings, we are going to be vigilant about it," Director Armstrong said. "As you can see by the outcome of this hearing, they will be held accountable."

Though the former Memphis police officer is not facing any charges, that could change once the Tennessee Highway Patrol finishes their investigation into the August 2012 traffic accident. Once the highway patrol releases their findings, Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich will decide if her staff will press charges against Beard.

MEDIA RELEASE:  Update Concerning Officer Beard/Fatal Crash, Crump and Walnut



FOX13 News reporter Marcus Hunter contributed to this report.

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