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Crime & Courts

Report: Driver in fatal Hillcrest crash was intoxicated

Investigation finds woman behind wheel had been arguing with a man in a parking lot

A tree is visibly scarred Dec. 4 in the 500 block of West Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, where police said an SUV crashed through the the fence, hit the tree, and its driver, Jonica J. Walker, 25, of DeKalb, was pronounced dead Dec. 1.
A tree is visibly scarred Dec. 4 in the 500 block of West Hillcrest Drive in DeKalb, where police said an SUV crashed through the the fence, hit the tree, and its driver, Jonica J. Walker, 25, of DeKalb, was pronounced dead Dec. 1.

DeKALB – A woman who died after her SUV crashed through a fence and into a tree Dec. 1 in the 500 block of West Hillcrest Drive was drunk, high and fled from police at a top speed of 78 mph, according to a news release from the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office.

Jonica J. Walker, 25, of the 1000 block of West Hillcrest Drive was pronounced dead about 11:30 that night, and an autopsy done by the DeKalb County Coroner’s Office found her blood-alcohol content was nearly 21/2 times the legal limit.

DeKalb police were in the area because of an earlier report of shots fired, and while patrolling a parking lot, an officer saw a black 2005 Toyota Highlander speeding through, with a man giving chase; the man yelled for police to stop the vehicle but wouldn’t say why, the release said. The SUV sped off headed east on Hillcrest without its lights on.

The officer turned on theemergency lights and tried to catch up, and a second officer joined the pursuit west of Normal Road. Both officers slowed their pursuit when the SUV continued speeding through the intersection with Garden Road.

The release said video taken inside the second officer’s car shows the entire police encounter lasted about 23 seconds.

Another DeKalb officer found the SUV, which had crashed near the Fox Hollow subdivision, the release said.

An investigation into the SUV’s black box showed the vehicle reached 78 mph, and the driver was not wearing a seat belt, the release said.

The investigation turned up video footage from the parking lot in the 1000 block of West Hillcrest, where Walker had been arguing with the man before she sped off.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato’s office reviewed the investigation and determined no charges would be filed, police said.

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