By David Beasley


ATLANTA (Reuters) - A former police officer in suburban Atlanta was charged with vehicular homicide on Tuesday in the death of a teenage pedestrian that he struck while speeding at 97 miles per hour in his patrol car last month, authorities said.


Gwinnett County ex-officer Scott York, 24, was also charged with reckless driving and going too fast for conditions, police said. He was fired after a data recorder in his vehicle found him driving almost 60 miles per hour over the speed limit.


While responding to a pedestrian accident on Jan. 29, York lost control of his patrol car and struck Jose Coreas-Mejia, 16 and his cousin, Joel Melendez-Coreas, 18, police said.


Coreas-Mejia died on Monday from his injuries. Melendez-Coreas was treated and released from a local hospital. York sustained only minor injuries.


York, who graduated from the police academy last April, was fired Feb. 1 for violating a department policy against speeding while responding to a traffic accident, Gwinnett police said in a news release. The speed limit on the road where York struck the pedestrians is 40 miles per hour.

"Officer York acted outside the policies of the Gwinnett County Police Department," the agency said in a statement when the incident occurred. "Our hearts go out to the family of the victims. As officers, we routinely investigate incidents involving others. It's never easy investigating an incident involving one of our own."

Reuters could not immediately identify an attorney for York to seek comment.

(Editing by Letitia Stein and Bill Rigby)