Police Release IDs in Fatal Austell Wreck

The Austell Police Department was trying to make a traffic stop.

A 29-year-old Roswell man and a 41-year-old Marietta man died in a fatal wreck that temporarily shut down a major Austell thoroughfare early this morning.

Just after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, an Austell police officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a silver 2005 Acura TL on Pontiac Circle near Maxham Road. As the officer attempted to approach the driver, identified this evening as Chrystina L. Stanford of Roswell, he sped away and headed northbound on Maxham Road in the southbound lanes, said Officer Mike Bowman, the spokesman for the Cobb County Police Department.

"After passing Sweetwater Lane on Austell Road and out of sight from the officer who attempted the traffic stop, the driver of the silver Acura collided head-on with a 2001 Gold Acura 3.5RL" driven by Gary V. Sheppard of Marietta, Bowman said.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges are expected to be filed in the case.

E kane April 26, 2013 at 07:31 AM
On March 28 of this year, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that innocent passengers unwittingly involved in a high speed pursuit case can sue the police for damages caused, in part, by a reckless disregard of proper police procedure. In so ruling, the Court of Appeals noted that the police pursuit statute found at O.C.G.A. § 40-6-6(d)(2) was enacted by the Georgia Legislature to protect the rights of the innocent. Whether an innocent person is either inside or outside of a vehicle is not relevant. The question is, whether the injured party filing a claim against the police was innocent of wrongdoing. If innocent, whether a passenger inside the vehicle or a pedestrian outside the vehicle or any other third party, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that such a person could bring a claim, again, provided they were innocent and were injured, in part, by a reckless disregard of proper police procedure.
E kane April 26, 2013 at 07:38 AM
Most high speed pursuits involve non-violent suspects who are either violating traffic laws or are wanted for some other non-violent offense. If during a pursuit third parties are unnecessarily and recklessly endangered thereby, proper police procedure requires that such a pursuit be terminated. It is not worth killing innocent persons to apprehend a suspect for a non-violent offense. However, if the suspect being pursued is a murderer, rapist or armed robber and is otherwise known to be dangerous and violent, then the dangers to the public can be justified even during a high speed pursuit because the need to apprehend is equal to or greater than the danger to the public caused by the pursuit.
electric123 April 26, 2013 at 11:16 AM
if you were a congress person you would know the law! my neighbors are caring not money chasers or if you were a licensed lawyer you would be a ambulance chaser!
electric123 April 26, 2013 at 12:38 PM
I don't hear you smart A--???
Angela Chao April 26, 2013 at 02:42 PM
We appreciate you sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. However, the discussion has gone way off topic and a lot of the comments are no longer relevant to the story, and contain personal attacks and abusive language that violate Patch's Term of Use. Therefore, we'll be closing the comment stream. For future references, if you're concerned about another Patch user's comment on the site, please click on "Flag as Inappropriate" to avoid further confrontation, name calling or attacks. Thanks again for your participation.


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