There was likely nothing three drivers could do to avoid hitting and killing a teenager Tuesday morning, the Walton County Sheriff said. But two kept driving, leaving a 16-year-old to die.
“I can’t believe that someone driving the car that struck the kid couldn’t see what was going on,” Sheriff Joe Chapman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Striking the kid was unavoidable, but they did have the option to stop.”
Investigators believe the teenager, Jacob Little, of Monroe, was riding his skateboard to school when it rolled away from him in the 1200 block of Broad Street. When Jacob went to retrieve it, he stepped into busy morning traffic, Chapman said.
“He was on the roadway,” Chapman said late Tuesday. “When he was struck, he was in the turning lane to go into the Waffle House when the skateboard got away from him.”
The incident happened around 6:40 a.m. Tuesday in the 1200 block of Broad Street near Double Springs Church Road in Monroe, the Georgia State Patrol said. Jacob attended nearby Monroe Area High School, located at the corner of Broad Street and Double Springs Church Road.
The two-lane Broad Street is among the most congested at that time of morning, Chapman said. While county deputies assist with traffic control at most schools in the area, the high school is in the city limits of Monroe, which has a separate police department, Chapman said.
State troopers and deputies believe Jacob was struck by three vehicles, with the impact carrying him across lanes.
“The Honda was southbound, knocked the kid into the northbound lane,” Chapman said. “The truck knocked him back into the southbound lane.”
After Ford pickup driver hit the boy, he was then struck by a Chevrolet Tahoe. The driver of the Ford stopped at the scene of the wreck, but the Honda and Chevrolet drivers did not, the GSP said. Other drivers not involved in the wreck also stopped to help Jacob, but it was too late, Chapman said.
The Ford’s driver, whose name was not released, was not charged, Chapman said. But when the other drivers are located, they could face hit-and-run charges and possibly vehicular homicide, the sheriff said.
Late Tuesday, investigators found the Tahoe believed to have hit the teen, the GSP said. The SUV’s driver was being interviewed Tuesday night.
Investigators spent much of the day gathering any available surveillance footage from area businesses.
A few blocks away at Jacob’s home, family members pleaded for those responsible to surrender to police.
“You can’t run. You can’t hide,” Danny Little, Jacob’s uncle, told Channel 2 Action News. “You need to come forward. Go ahead and get it behind you. It’s just getting worse and worse.”
Anyone with information about the wreck is asked to contact the Walton County Sheriff’s Office at 770-267-6557.
—Staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this report.
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