Tragedy In Gwinnett County: Toddler Killed In Rural Neighborhood
A toddler who was supposed to turn two years old next month tragically died in a suspected hit and run collision in Gwinnett County. The accident happened on Tuesday, March 21, 2017, around 4 pm. Law enforcement investigators were unsure of the identity of the driver of the car and were unsure whether the driver fled the scene. Police conducted an investigation to determine exactly what happened.
According to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Gwinnett police were called to Lawrenceville on a report of a child being struck by a car. Police and medics arrived to find a child who was nearly two years old suffering from life-threatening injuries. Emergency medical personnel rushed the child to a nearby hospital where the child succumbed to its injuries.
The Gwinnett police examined the scene of the crash. The initial reports indicate that evidence of a collision between a vehicle and a child were in a driveway and a street adjacent to the driveway. The police investigation initially revealed that the driver of the vehicle that struck the child drove away from the scene without stopping. Police apprehended the person they believed was driving - it was, surprisingly, the child's grandmother.
After further investigation, police now say that the 911 calls they received indicated the baby's grandmother struck the child. Police located and investigated the grandmother. She denied that she was responsible for the crash. The grandmother and child lived in the same neighborhood. The police, however, found the grandmother's yellow Hummer SUV in her driveway. Police sought and obtained a search warrant for the Hummer after locating a reddish fluid which they believed to be blood on the rear tire area.
Investigators determined that the substance was human blood. This evidence contradicted the woman's story. Consequently, the police arrested the child's grandmother. They charged her with Vehicular Homicide in the First Degree, Hit and Run, Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer, and Operating Without a License.
After telling the police she was not involved, the woman told police what she believed happened. The woman stated that she parked her Hummer in her daughter's driveway. After visiting with the family, she backed out of the driveway and, while doing so, struck the baby. The woman scooped the baby up and brought the child into the house. The woman then left the house and drove to her home, where she parked the Hummer in the driveway, and then walked back to the accident scene. The woman told police she never saw the child when she began backing the vehicle. Although police sought charges in the matter, the case remains under investigation.
This incident serves as a tragic reminder of the care people must exercising when backing. A person backing a vehicle, especially oversized vehicles like Hummers, pickup trucks, and other large vehicles must use extreme caution. If a driver knows that a small child is in the area, the driver should expect that the child could run behind the car and out of the sight of the person backing. Drivers must be aware of their blind spots and proceed with caution.
It is far too easy to become complacent. Modern cars equipped with rear-facing cameras are helpful, but they are no substitute for using mirrors and looking over your shoulder. Using the mirrors and turning allow the driver to see more of the area around them and hopefully avoid a tragedy such as this from ever occurring again.
Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty-three years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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