Uber Driver Sentenced to 15 Years for Death of Georgia School Crossing Guard
MARIETTA, GA. – August 17, 2018 (patch.com) A former Uber driver who struck and killed a school crossing guard in Cobb County, Georgia, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to an online news report from patch.com.*
Lamont Roosevelt Whitaker, 38, of Lithonia, Georgia, pleaded guilty August 13 to one count of vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 64-year-old Edna Mae Umeh. Umeh was a crossing guard for Lindley Middle School in Cobb County. On the morning of November 30, 2017, she was directing traffic in front of the school on Veterans Memorial Drive. Whitaker swerved left and drove into the center turning lane, traveling 45 to 51 mph in an attempt to pass slowed traffic in the 25 mph school zone. He then struck and killed Umeh with his 2016 Ford Focus.
At the time of his arrest, Whitaker, a former driver for Uber, told police that Umeh jumped in front of his car. He also told police he was not drowsy at the time. However, in court on August 13, he said he had fallen asleep at the wheel. Prosecutors pointed out the inconsistencies in his stories in arguing for a strict sentence.
The judge overseeing the case sentenced Whitaker to 15 years, with five to serve in prison. He will also not be allowed a driver’s license for the entire 15 years.
Numerous members of Umeh’s family were present for the sentencing hearing, during which Whitaker apologized for what happened. He directed the apology to her family, saying he was a father of four, working two jobs, and was exhausted the day of the crash.
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