Paulding teen dies after falling off hood of Jeep, getting run over

Paulding teen dies after falling off hood of Jeep, getting run over

She knows nothing will bring him back. But Michelle Guthrie wishes she had one more chance to speak with her 16-year-old son.

“I can only look up and say, ‘Alex if that’s what you were doing, I’m so upset with you,’” Guthrie said Monday.

Alex Desalis died late Sunday after being run over on a Paulding County street after falling from the hood of a vehicle, according to police. It was a mistake that cost him his life.

As a typical fearless teenager, Alex likely didn’t think twice before getting on the hood of a friend’s 2009 Jeep Wrangler around 2:40 p.m. Saturday, his mother said.

“Alex loved to make people laugh,” Guthrie said. “That was Alex’s thing, to make everybody laugh and make everybody happy.’’

Guthrie said her son had asked a 16-year-old friend for a ride in her Jeep to a nearby cemetery. The girl said no, but Alex jumped on the hood, witnesses said.

When he fell off the moving Jeep, he was run over, the Georgia State Patrol said. Alex was first taken to WellStar Paulding Hospital before being flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition, the GSP said. The driver of the Jeep was not injured.

“He fell off and he landed on the top of his head,” Guthrie said. “It was instantaneous. He felt no pain.”

Guthrie initially thought the phone call was a cruel joke. But when she saw Alex at the hospital, her heart sank.

“He was already gone,” Guthrie said. “I knew in my heart he was gone.”

Alex had extensive brain injuries and two punctured lungs, and follow-up tests Sunday showed no improvement, Guthrie said. With Alex on life support, Guthrie was forced to make a heartbreaking decision.

“I’m not going to leave my son like that,” Guthrie said. “Let him go peacefully.”

At 7:56 p.m. Sunday, Alex died from his injuries. It was his grandmother’s 71st birthday.

“It’s the worst decision you ever have to make,” Guthrie said. “But when you know your child is gone, it’s the only decision.”

Guthrie said her youngest child, an 11th grader at North Paulding High School, was mature beyond his years. Alex planned to become a hairstylist and was already taking a cosmetology class, his mother said. He didn’t like conflict and wanted those around him to be happy, and he was a popular student with many friends.

“Everybody knew him and everybody loved him,” Guthrie said. “Everybody that knew him was better for knowing him.”

Funeral arrangements were pending for Alex. A fund-raising page was created on the You Caring website to assist the family with funeral costs.

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