Son of Atlanta assistant police chief involved in deadly Midtown crash

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating if street racing was a factor in a crash in Midtown that shut down Peachtree Street for about five hours Wednesday, left one man dead and injured an off-duty Atlanta police officer.

Police closed the area of Peachtree Street between Beverly Road and the Buford Spring Connector after a white Dodge Challenger driven by Officer Shawn Jones Jr. hit a stone wall near the Invesco building just after 2:30 a.m. Jones is the son of Atlanta Assistant Police Chief Shawn Jones Sr.

Georgia State Patrol Sgt. John Cronin said his agency was called to help with the investigation.

“The officer has extensive injuries,” he said. “But from what we understand, right now he is stable.”

Jones was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he had surgery. It was unclear if he wore a seat belt. Officials were seen removing SWAT gear and an Atlanta police bulletproof vest from the Challenger.

The passenger, Ramish Attai, 20, Lilburn, was wearing a seat belt, but died on the scene, Cronin said.

Shawn Jones Jr. is assigned to the Atlanta police’s airport division and works mornings, Atlanta police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy said. He has been with the department since November 2011.

The GSP is investigating if street racing was a factor in the crash after at least one witness made a statement to officers and a 911 call was possibly made prior to the accident, Cronin said.

“There are still a lot of pieces to this investigation,” he said. “Obviously, speed is a factor in the crash.”

Atlanta police arrested the driver of a second Challenger that may have been involved in the crash, Cronin said. While he did not specify charges against the unidentified driver, Cronin said “she left the scene. She was located by responding Atlanta officers basically high.”