DeKalb County officer charged in pedestrian's death was going 76 - CBS46 News

DeKalb County officer charged in pedestrian's death was going 76 in a 40

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Source: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office Source: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A DeKalb County police officer who struck a jogger in a crosswalk, then crashed into a house, has been charged with vehicular homicide.

Court records uncovered by CBS46 show he was driving 76 mph on Chamblee Tucker Road, which has a speed limit of 40.

In Georgia, 34 mph above the limit is an automatic driver's license suspension, and this speed was two miles above that.

In a press conference held Monday afternoon, Chief James Conroy with the DeKalb County Police Department said Officer Iain MacGowan hit Janet Pickney, 66, as he was responding to an emergency call without lights and sirens.

Early information suggested MacGowan was going to a fallen tree, but records show he was actually headed to a report of juvenile walking on the highway.

According to the chief, neither one of those incidents merits a response with lights and sirens, or speeding.

He suggested MacGowan's actions reflected the pressure that DeKalb County officers feel to improve their response times to 911 calls.

MacGowan was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, but he was served a notice that DeKalb County intends to fire him.

CBS46 reported last year that DeKalb County has the worst response times in the metro Atlanta area, clocking in at an average of 13 minutes, 10 seconds per call. That's more than double the time of the county with the fastest response times.

DeKalb County police have also gone on the record to say they are having difficulty keeping their department above 70 percent staffing capacity.

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