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4 teens struck on Richmond County roads since Thursday

Sunday, April 13, 2014 9:18 PM
Last updated Tuesday, April 15, 2014 3:13 PM
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Editor's note: Because incorrect information was provided, an earlier version of this story misidentified traffic victim Timothy Dunn.

Flowers lie in front of the Chevron gas station at 1500 Gordon Highway. Police say this stretch of road has seen two pedestrian accidents, one of them fatal.   TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
Flowers lie in front of the Chevron gas station at 1500 Gordon Highway. Police say this stretch of road has seen two pedestrian accidents, one of them fatal.

Four teens have been hit by vehicles on Richmond County roads in less than a week, and two have died as a result of their injuries.

The most recent, on Sunday, involved a 15-year-old riding his bicycle. About 3:06 p.m., Timothy Dunn was struck by a Buick LaSabre in the 900 block of Laney-Walker Boulevard, according to Sgt. Monica Belser of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Timothy was riding his bike on the sidewalk in front of Church’s Chicken before steering into oncoming traffic, Belser said in an e-mail.

He was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center to be treated for life-threatening injuries. No charges had been filed against the driver Sunday night.

Deputies were still looking Sunday for a hit-and-run driver who struck two juveniles late Saturday night in the 1500 block of Gordon Highway.

One of them, 14-year-old Zykeith Harris, was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:20 a.m. Sunday by Chief Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose. An autopsy is scheduled to take place at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta.

The second victim, whose identity has not been made public, was taken to Georgia Regents Medical Center in serious condition.

“I saw the police lights out there for hours, but we all assumed that it was just a bad wreck,” said Gary Vuppla, who was working inside a nearby Chevron. “We didn’t know what happened.”

Deputies had found no witnesses and were still trying to determine what kind of vehicle hit the boys.

“We really don’t have much to go on at this point,” said Lt. Ramone Lamkin, of the sheriff’s office’s Traffic Division. “Nobody saw the accident. There were only a handful of bystanders who saw the two people laying on the roadway. But if anybody even caught a slightest glimpse of what the car may have looked like, we need them to call us.”

That area of Gordon Highway has seen similar accidents. On March 28, a man was struck several yards from where the boys were hit. He, too, was trying to cross Gordon Highway. He was injured but survived.

“We’re just having a lot of people who are crossing in the dark areas of the roadway at night,” Lamkin said. “Those cars on the road look like they’re going a lot slower than they really are. It’s more of a problem with pedestrians misjudging when to cross the road.”

On Thursday, another Augusta teen died when he darted into Milledgeville Road while running from a dog. Demonta Collins, 13, was killed when he was hit by a 2001 Acura, according to the sheriff’s office.

“He was a real nice, respectable little boy,” said Louise Robinson, who lives next door to Collins’ family. “He was always willing to help people, and his mama was a really good mama. I had a child that died, and you don’t really know what it feels like to go through that until you’ve been through it yourself.”

The driver of the Acura was not charged but the dog’s owner, Robyn Gledhill, was cited for a violation of the Georgia leash law.

Demonta was attending a birthday party next to Gledhill’s house when the dog approached him in what another neighbor described as a playful manner. But it scared Demonta, and he ran to get away from it.

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jimbob 04/14/14 - 08:00 am
So very sad

Are Parents and schools in Richmond county not teaching kids how to not walk out in front of traffic or are the drivers trying to hit people by speeding up? Something needs to be done to stop these useless early deaths and severe injuries. Let's start with better dodge-ball training put back into the schools. Or maybe we need to whip the kids more so they don't get the idea they are invincible like so many seem to have nowadays. Adding street lighting is just as important so drivers can see people in the streets as far away as possible.

Truth Matters
Truth Matters 04/14/14 - 10:03 am
@jimbob There are times when


There are times when sarcasm can really soften the sting of a situation.
This is not one of them.
Considering some of your past comments, this is right on target.

mooseye 04/14/14 - 11:26 am
It doesn't sound like the case

in these instances, but giving a pedestrian the right of way, by law, has to contribute to some accidents.
People are conditioned to think they can just walk out in front of oncoming traffic with no regard to weather the drivers can see them.
Walmart is a perfect example. I have had many occasions where people walked out in front of my truck, without even looking at me, when the sun was in my eyes or I was distracted by some other driver or such. I was lucky I didn't hit and injure or kill some of them.
I was taught to look both ways and give a vehicle the respect a large heavy fast moving object deserves.

Sweet son
Sweet son 04/14/14 - 11:28 am
12:20 AM?

Why were two youthful teens crossing at that time of day? Parents? Yes!

nocnoc 04/14/14 - 04:09 pm
Given the increasing Numbers Injuried and Killed

What will RCSO now do about it?

Not a day goes by that my Dash Cam doesn't record somebody cutting across 3 or 4 lanes of traffic with a crosswalk less than 50 yards away.

thauch12 04/14/14 - 11:11 pm

In response to the above question, get ready for Operation Rolling Sidewalk! Richmond County will use these unfortunate events as an excuse to set up roadblocks on certain roads leading to affluent areas in an effort "to end this endemic." They will write thousands of dollars in fines that will go to line their coffers (and retirement plans) in the name of "keeping us all safe." Everyone will be happy!

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