published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Dalton woman could face charges in friend’s death

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A Dalton, Ga., woman could face charges after the car she was driving ran off the road Thursday morning and one of her friends was ejected and killed.

Police say 27-year-old Alicia Chandler swerved off Chattanooga Avenue about 1:30 a.m., slamming into the curb before correcting herself back onto the road. The jolt knocked 26-year-old Elizabeth Burchfield, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, through the windshield.

As Chandler stopped the car and the other two passengers in the back seat jumped out, they flagged a Dalton police officer who was driving by at the same time, said Officer Steve Zahn.

Once Burchfield was rushed to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, she died from injuries she suffered on impact, Zahn said.

No one else was injured, he said.

Police are still investigating where the group of friends were coming from, but they believe alcohol was involved in the accident, Zahn said.

Chandler faces charges, but Zahn couldn’t say what they will be until the investigation is further along.

Burchfield, a lifelong resident of Dalton, had graduated from Phoenix High School, school officials said. She transferred from Southeast High School in 2002, her junior year.

Burchfield attended Dalton State College, according to her Facebook page.

Family members who answered the phone at Burchfield’s parents’ home in Dalton declined to comment.

Burchfield worked at Logan’s Roadhouse in Dalton, a manager confirmed, but she referred all other questions to the general manager.

“We’re all extremely upset about it,” she said.

Services for Burchfield will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, a Love Funeral Home employee said. Family members will receive friends after the service.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing ...

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