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Dashcam video raises questions about a deadly wreck in Chatsworth

A police dash cam video raises questions about a fatal wreck in Chatsworth. (Image: GSP)

A police dashcam video raises questions about a fatal wreck in Chatsworth that happened in May.

One person died in that crash. Five others were injured.

The GSP insists they did not chase the driver before she crashed.

We got the dashcam video after filing an open records request.

In the video, you can hear the sirens come from this GSP patrol car.

The Georgia State Patrol tells us a trooper clocked Olivia Craig going 79 in a 55.

GSP says the trooper attempted to catch up to Craig, to conduct a traffic stop, but was unsuccessful.

Police says Craig hit a curve in the road, crossed the center line and then collided head-on with an SUV.

In the car was Jennifer Shofner and her four daughters.

We spoke to Shofner a few days after the crash while she was in the hospital.

"I don't hold any will towards the woman that hit us. She has a family too that loved her and are suffering a loss," Shofner said.

Jennifer has a broken foot and some bruising.

Three of her girls have broken bones, and her 2-year-old had to have spinal surgery.

She now wears a halo.

Two days after the crash, we mailed the GSP for more information on how it happened.

In an email, they wrote that this was not a pursuit.

According to GSP's pursuit policy, troopers are allow to pursue a vehicle if that person driving the car attempts to get away from them.

In addition, the trooper must also consider the nature of the offense committed by a suspect.

In this case? GSP says Craig was speeding.

If a trooper chooses to purse they must turn on their blue lights and siren.

Though sirens can clearly be heard throughout this video, GSP says this trooper wasn't able to catch up and continues to stand by that this was not a pursuit.

Wednesday, the Shofner family watched that dashcam video for the first time.

Lisa Padilla-Rettele is the little girls aunt and Jennifer Shofner's sister.

She says this was the first time she had the chance to see the dashcam video.

It took her more than two hours to get the courage to watch it.

She described it to us as "gut wrenching" seeing her sister's car smashed.

And she just wants to thank everyone who stopped to help.

"Numerous people stopped. I mean, that is what it's all about. It's about friends and family and the strangers that you don't know giving them a hand and helping people that are in need," said Padilla-Rettele.

Lisa tells us that the little 2-year-old is still in the hospital.

Everyone else is still pretty sore, but they are recovering.


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