Off-duty Fairburn police officer dies in 4-car crash in Douglas County

Credit: Fairburn Police Department

Credit: Fairburn Police Department

3 other drivers expected to make full recoveries, officials say

A Fairburn police officer was killed Thursday morning in a four-car crash in Douglas County that involved his patrol car colliding head-on with a pickup truck, state officials said.

Sgt. Jean-Harold Astree, 54, died at the scene after the wreck on Capps Ferry Road just south of Brookcrest Court shortly before 8 a.m., a Georgia State Patrol spokesperson said. The drivers of the other three vehicles were taken to the hospital and are expected to make full recoveries, the spokesperson said.

“The city is heartbroken due to the tragic loss of Sgt. Astree,” Fairburn Mayor Mario B. Avery said. “Today our city has lost a hero for public safety and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. We thank all the surrounding jurisdictions for stepping in to assist us during this difficult time.”

Astree was driving north on Capps Ferry Road in an unmarked police Dodge Charger when it collided side-to-side with a large GMC pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction, according to the GSP. The driver of the GMC lost control and spun into an Audi SUV traveling behind Astree’s Charger.

The officer continued traveling north in the southbound lane, where his vehicle hit a second GMC truck head-on, the GSP spokesperson said. Astree was off duty at the time of the crash, police said.

The Fairburn Police Department described Astree as a “decorated officer and true hero.” He was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, the department said.

According to records kept by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, Astree began his law enforcement career with the Atlanta Police Department in 2005. He worked at APD through 2008 before working shorter stints at other departments and taking a break from law enforcement. In 2018, Astree began his current stint with Fairburn PD and was promoted in both 2019 and 2020. His POST records show no disciplinary history.

“Our officers appreciate the support of the City of Fairburn and the community during this extraordinarily painful time,” police Chief James McCarthy said. “We extend our deepest condolences to Sgt. Astree’s family, friends and fellow officers. We will do all that we can to support them during this painful time.”

Astree is survived by his wife and multiple children, police said.