The Dalton Police Department will not be filing criminal charges against a driver involved in a crash last week that killed a pedestrian who was attempting to cross Chattanooga Road near the intersection with Tibbs Road. The investigation into the incident showed that the victim was heavily intoxicated at the time of the crash, police said.
The crash happened around 8 p.m. last Thursday in the area of the Motel 6 at 2200 Chattanooga Road. The victim, 40-year-old April Alesi of Newnan, Ga., was attempting to cross Chattanooga Road from the motel to the area of the gas station and liquor store on the west side of the road.
Ms. Alesi stepped in front of a blue Ford F-150 pickup truck traveling northbound in the outside lane of Chattanooga Road driven by 42-year-old Edward Lamar Cook of Dalton. He told investigators he saw a woman looking away from him as she stepped into the road and swerved to try to avoid hitting her but he was unable.
Ms. Alesi was thrown approximately 15 feet by the impact and landed in the northbound lane. Witnesses started CPR on Ms. Alesi and responding Dalton officers continued CPR until EMS could arrive. She was transported to Hamilton Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
The DPD Traffic Unit’s investigation included a review of medical testing performed at the hospital that showed Ms. Alesi’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.42, a level more than five times higher than the state’s legal limit for drivers. A review of a surveillance video from a nearby business showed that Ms. Alesi stepped into traffic directly in front of the Cook vehicle, giving him no chance to avoid the collision.
Cook was arrested Tuesday by the Dalton Police Department on unrelated charges of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and intent to sell marijuana after a search warrant for his vehicle was executed as part of the investigation of this crash and a jar containing marijuana was found inside. The marijuana was not a factor in the crash, police said.