Separate crashes claim the lives of young Irma evacuees

As Hurricane Irma barrelled toward the Florida coast, thousands of families sought refuge in Georgia.

But tragedy struck here for multiple families when two of the storm’s youngest evacuees were killed in separate incidents in metro Atlanta. In Cherokee County, a 3-month-old baby in her mother’s arms was killed when the two were hit by a car. Roughly 30 hours later and 50 miles away, a 10-year-old boy was killed after being hit by a car in DeKalb County.

As predicted, a weakened but still devastating Irma brought heavy rain and winds through metro Atlanta and North Georgia on Monday. Meanwhile, two police agencies investigated how two children were killed after being brought to a seemingly safer place, and families mourned the sudden deaths.

Kaitlin Hunt and her infant daughter, Riley, left their Port St. Lucie, Florida home to escape Irma. Saturday night, the two planned to attend an outdoor concert with a family friend. It’s not clear whether the three ever made it to the Northside Hospital-Cherokee Amphitheater, according to Sgt. Marianne Kelley, spokeswoman for the county sheriff’s office.

“They may have been running late to get to it,” Kelley said Monday.

Hunt held the baby as they attempted to cross Arnold Mill Road along with 61-year-old Kathy Deming, of Marietta, shortly after 8 p.m., according to investigators. The three were not in a crosswalk when they were struck by a Jeep Patriot driven by a 17-year-old.

The two women were critically injured and remained hospitalized Monday. But little Riley died from her injuries Saturday night, investigators said.

No charges had been filed Monday in the crash, which remains under investigation.

» RELATED: Irma kills power to 840,000 on coast and across South Georgia

A tree crashed down on a home in Commerce, Georgia
Photo: (WSB-TV)

In the second deadly incident — this one early Monday in DeKalb County — Timothy Jones, a 10-year-old boy from the Fort Lauderdale area died when a driver hit him and his mother, Shyra Slack. The tragedy took place after a series of events during a gathering at the home of Brianna Robertson who lives near Stone Mountain, DeKalb police Lt. Lonzy Robertson said.

An argument ensued between Robertson, 26, and Slack, according to a police report.

Roberston, 26, told police she decided to leave the house at about 1 a.m. Slack followed Robertson to her car and began knocking on the car window. Timothy ran over to the car as well. As Roberston backed out of the driveway, she struck Timothy and Slack. Robertson told police she was unaware she hit Slack and her son.

Other people at the gathering transported Slack, 30, and her son to the hospital where Timothy died from his injuries. Slack was treated for a minor injury and released.

Robertson was not injured and will not face charges in connection with the crash, which remains under investigation, police said.

» RELATED: What will Hurricane Irma mean for Georgia?

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