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Trooper fired in wake of woman's death

1/6/2012 - MLB Atlanta Braves

ATLANTA -- The state trooper involved in the New Year's Eve collision that killed the wife of Atlanta Braves trainer Jeff Porter was fired on Friday, Georgia's public safety commissioner said.

Ex-Trooper Donald Crozier "failed to use due regard when traveling through the intersection" through a red light, according to a police report on the crash that killed 54-year-old Kathy Porter of Loganville and injured her husband, teenage son and his friend in downtown Atlanta. Crozier is no longer with the state patrol, Col. Mark W. McDonough said in a statement.

Crozier's vehicle had all its emergency equipment activated and ran the light while on his way to help another trooper in a chase, according to an accident report released Friday.

"I am still suffering emotionally and physically as a result of the accident, but it is nothing compared to what the Porter family is going through," Crozier said in a statement to The Associated Press. "I am so sorry for their loss and I think of them and pray for them every day."

Crozier would have celebrated his 10-year anniversary as a state trooper this month and he regrets losing his job.

Porter did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.

The Porters and their friend were on their way in an SUV to the Chick-fil-A-Bowl at the Georgia Dome when the collision happened around 4:40 p.m. at Memorial Drive and Capitol Avenue.

State Patrol officials said the trooper, heading west on Memorial Drive, was on his way to assist another trooper who was attempting to stop a motorcyclist on nearby Interstate 20, west of the Downtown Connector. The motorcyclist had failed to yield, authorities said at the time.

Witness Sandy Jones said Crozier was speeding toward the red light and didn't slow down before entering the intersection, the report states.

The trooper collided with the passenger side of the Ford Expedition driven by Jeff Porter.

Jeff Porter, 19-year-old David Porter and Courtney Ann Williams, 18, were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital for treatment and later released.