UPDATE: Columbus police car strikes, kills Phenix City woman

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comOctober 14, 2012 

A Columbus police car driven by officer Kelly MacDonell, 26, struck a pedestrian Jacquess Harris, 26, of Phenix City early this morning. Muscogee County Coroner Bill Thrower pronounced Harris dead at 1:27 a.m.

Her body is being sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.

"She was in the street," Thrower said. "She was struck by a car. She stepped out in front of a car."

Columbus police chief Ricky Boren was at the scene of the accident on North Lumpkin Road shortly after it happened. He was there again at 11 a.m. along with Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

Boren said the 911 call about the accident came at 12:42.

It was reported that witnesses on the scene said the woman was crossing the street to get to the Club Ciroc when the police car, which did not have a lights or siren, struck Harris.

Boren said that information could not be confirmed and that the Georgia State Patrol is conducting the investigation.

Boren said MacDonell may have been responding to a backup call.

MacDonell, who has been put on administrative leave with pay, has been on the force since June 2011. Boren said MacDonell is "extremely upset."

Tomlinson called the incident an "incredible tragedy" and said she is "so sorry" for the family's loss.

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