Wetumpka Police Officer Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Crash

An Alabama police officer facing manslaughter charges connected to a patrol car crash that killed a woman has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutor C.J. Robinson tells the Montgomery Advertiser that Wetumpka police officer Andrew Bass entered his not guilty plea and waived his arraignment on Tuesday in Elmore County Circuit Court.

The charges stem from an October 2016 crash that killed 52-year-old Elaine Merritt, when her 2016 Honda Pilot collided with the 2010 Dodge Charger that Bass was driving. He was allegedly on duty and responding to an emergency call, traveling in excess of 90 mph (145 kph), but wasn’t running lights and sirens on his police cruiser.

Bass’ attorney, Kenny James, says the death is a tragedy, but “not criminal.”

It’s unclear if Bass is still employed by Wetumpka police.

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Information from: Montgomery Advertiser

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