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Officer in crash has accident history

ALBANY -- As the fallout from a crash involving an Albany Police Department officer over the weekend continues to play out, some interest has been generated from the officer's past.

Cpl. Gary Price of the APD was involved in an accident with a 2003 Ford F-150 at the intersection of South Jefferson Street and West Whitney Avenue at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The Ford pickup, which early reports indicated had a green light, was being driven by Dmitria Kennard, 22. Her vehicle, traveling west, was struck in the side by an APD Chevrolet Tahoe being driven by Price as he was traveling south -- causing the pickup to overturn. Passengers ages 1 year to 23 were in the vehicle.

Witness reports indicate that Price swerved right to avoid a collision, and initial reports indicated the officer had his blue lights flashing. Both vehicles sustained extensive damage.

None of those in the F-150 were ejected from the vehicle, but the child safety seat the 1-year-old child was in was being improperly used, a report on the accident shows.

All of those involved had visible injuries and were taken for medical treatment. Their conditions were not available Monday evening.

Price and the canine he was traveling with, Bubi, were initially thought to be in good condition.

Kennard's airbag deployed, while her passengers either did not have an air bag at their seat or the air bag did not deploy. Price's air bag did not deploy, according to the report.

Price is facing a red light violation pending a decision from the accident review board. Kennard also has a child restraint charge pending against her, the accident report says.

This is not the first time Price has been involved in an accident in the course of his duties. In June 2007, while working as a member of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit, Price was reportedly chasing a drug suspect. The suspect, Bobby Renaldo Jones, crashed into the car of William "Billy" Klewitz, 21, killing him.

Klewitz's family filed a wrongful death suit in 2008 against the city of Albany, Dougherty County, the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office, then-Dougherty County Sheriff Jamil Saba and the ADDU, contending that Price's decision to pursue Jones down North Jackson Street and into Lee County was in violation of existing ADDU policy and showed a "reckless disregard for the public."

During the pursuit, the lawsuit contended, Price and Jones weaved in and out of traffic on Old Leesburg Road at speeds in excess of 90 mph when Klewitz was hit. The defense in the case argued that it has been Jones' decision to flee and that Klewitz failed "to exercise ordinary care for his own safety."

The suit was ultimately settled with a $525,000 payment. In the aftermath of the incident, the family also appealed to officials to institute a chase policy for the drug unit.

Comments

ObjectiveEyes 1 year, 9 months ago

How is this officer still driving a police car?

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bigbob 1 year, 9 months ago

Bigger question how can APD investigate this incident. I hope the young lady has already lawyered up because this smells real bad. They said the cop got a stop sign citation, what about the speeding, reckless operation & all the other charges joe citizen would have gotten.

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jglass 1 year, 9 months ago

I think he needs to be a cop downtown or behind a desk. Get him from behind the wheel of a car.

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Kenny36 1 year, 9 months ago

i bet you would be glad to see him pull-up in your yard if you needed the police.

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ontario1966 1 year, 9 months ago

He is nothing but a true liability to the city, and has a problem following police procedures and his superiors! Fire him, before he kills somebody else. He is a danger behind the wheel!

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rightasrain 1 year, 9 months ago

Citizens of Albany should no longer be fearful of street violence, home invasions, etc.; my greatest fear is the sight of an APD Cruiser. Either you will be shot, robbed or struck by an APD Officer involved in a "TV Style" car chase. For those who think Price will be severely reprimanded need to think again.

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daisymae 1 year, 9 months ago

Sounds like Officer Price needs to be labeled a Habitual Violator and his license taken.

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 9 months ago

I agree. If this were a regular citizen, he would be unable to get insurance (or at least be required to have a high risk policy similar to those with DUI convictions) and would be required to attend driving school. If the judge didn't suspend his driving privileges altogether. This officer is a speed-happy, accident-causing habitual violator.

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