Driver charged in hit-and-run that killed UGA student

A woman accused of striking and killing a 21-year-old University of Georgia student reported her car missing after leaving the scene, authorities said.

Virkerria Steward, 28, faces several charges in the wreck that killed Knox Whiten on March 21, Athens-Clarke County police said Wednesday.

Whiten was stuck while walking near the intersection of the Athens Perimeter and Chase Street shortly before 2 a.m., police spokesman Lt. Shaun Barnett said. Police responded to the area after a passerby spotted Whiten in the street and called 911.

Credit: Family Photo

Credit: Family Photo

Steward was arrested later that day on unrelated charges out of Clayton County and has been in jail since, records show.

After being linked to the fatal wreck, Steward was charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle, hit-and-run resulting in serious injury or death, false report of a crime and driving with a suspended license.

ExploreUGA student found dead after hit-and-run crash near campus

The false report charge was filed after investigators said Steward called police after the crash and told them her car had been stolen, Barnett said.

“The vehicle that was involved was reported stolen by her and that was obviously deemed to not be the case,” he said. “Other involved parties could likely face charges related to this incident as well.”

Whiten, who was from Toccoa, loved to travel and was passionate about golf. According to his obituary, he graduated from Oconee Christian Academy in 2018 and spent the first two years of his college career at Florida State University. He played club golf at both universities.

“When not traveling, he spent most of his time with his girlfriend Emma,” his obituary said.

Steward remains held at the Clayton County Jail without bond, online records show.