Joseph McNeil received one year of probation for hitting and killing motorcyclist Richard Crawford after blowing through a stop sign in March 2018.
Photo: Channel 2 Action News
Photo: Channel 2 Action News

Driver gets probation for hitting, killing motorcyclist; collision prompts change

A driver who hit and killed a motorcyclist more than a year ago after running a stop sign in Fairburn received one year of probation Wednesday after accepting a plea deal, Channel 2 Action News reported.

The incident also prompted a policy change in a metro Atlanta police department.

Joseph McNeil, then 70, hit 29-year-old Richard Crawford on March 15, 2018, colliding with his motorcycle at the intersection of Ga. 74 and Senioa Road. Crawford was going the speed limit and had the right-of-way.

Five months later, McNeil had not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident due to slow procedural movement within the Fairburn Police Department, Channel 2 reported.

After Crawford’s family hired a lawyer and sought the help of the Fulton County Solicitor General’s Office, McNeil was charged with vehicular homicide, failure to obey and failure to yield.

As a result, the small, resource-lacking police department has decided that all fatal traffic collisions will now go straight to the Georgia State Patrol for further investigation. 

Before formally accepting the plea deal, McNeil read an apology to Crawford’s family in court, Channel 2 reported.

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