[WATCH] DeKalb County Officer Charged in Death of Retired Teacher Hit While Jogging

DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. – DeKalb County Police Department officials confirm they have charged one of their own officers with vehicular homicide in connection with the death of a retired teacher.

Officials said 66-year-old Janet Pickney was struck and killed by officer Ian MacGowan’s patrol car on July 25 as she jogged along Chamblee Tucker Road.

Pickney was jogging in a crosswalk at about 7:30 a.m. when MacGowan was trying to avoid another vehicle and struck her. The cruiser continued on, striking a house at the intersection.

Officials said they charged MacGowan after a lengthy investigation and served him with a letter on Monday indicating their intent to terminate his employment with the DeKalb County department.

In a press conference, DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy the charges came after looking into the “totality of the circumstances” and that the final decision was “based heavily on the speed of the officer.”

Along with first-degree homicide by vehicle, MacGowan has been charged with reckless driving, speeding, and failure to maintain lane. He is currently in the DeKalb County Jail.

Pickney’s husband Ed spoke with 11Alive off-camera. He said he was glad the officer is being treated fairly and that he supports the charges.

Another topic of discussion addressed during the press conference was safety on this particular stretch of road since McGowan swerved trying to avoid another vehicle. Officials report having at least 20 other accidents in the past 5 years along this street.

The family plans to file a lawsuit against the DeKalb County Police Department. 11Alive was there when Chief Conroy stopped by to give his condolences to the family. He said he is aware of the pending litigation.

McGowan had been with the department for four years up until the accident. The letter of intent to terminate his employment now stands alongside his previously clean record.

Source: http://www.11alive.com