UPDATE: Mother of teen hit and killed says she doesn't blame the driver

By: Hope Jensen Email
By: Hope Jensen Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Thursday, Oct. 10th, 2013

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW) -- An Evans teenager is dead after being hit by a car at the end of his driveway.

It happened Thursday morning on Hardy McManus Road near Woodruff Way. 14 year old Tyler Smith and his 6 year old brother were riding in their go cart in their front yard when a car left the roadway hitting Tyler.

His mother, Barbara Smith, saw the whole thing happen.

"I was just talking to him about how are we gonna turn the go cart around to come back around," said Barbara. "So he was standing up when it happened."

Barbara watched from just 10 feet away as a car veered off the road in front of their house, hitting her son Tyler.

"I knew that when I birthed my children into the world that one day they might go home," she said.

But she never expected it to happen so soon.

"Tyler had the biggest smile, he would joke. He was a hunter, fisherman, he was a basketball star, football, he could do anything," she explained about her son.

Barbara says the thing she was most proud of was her son's relationship with the Lord. "At church last night he was worshiping and praising him and I feel like today he is in his presence, praising and worshiping him and that gives me great comfort."

His little brother Jonathan was standing next to him when the accident happened. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance but is doing OK.

"I feel like Tyler kept him safe, I feel like Tyler's presence kept Jonathan from getting any scratches on him," said Barbara.

The driver of the car, 58 year old Kenneth Gill, is charged with vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane, but Smith says accidents happen and she doesn't want him to go to jail.

"I feel like I've driven distracted so many times," she explained.

She says she doesn't blame him and doesn't want anyone else to, either.

"This man, he needs support and love at this time and he needs to know that we are not, I am not mad at him," she said.

While she may not understand why it happened, she believes God has a plan.

"I feel that if it's your time to go it's your time to go and I feel like today Tyler went home to be with the Lord," said Smith.

She says she wants to say thank you to everyone who was there today from the people who stopped to help to the doctors at the hospital.

"I just want God to bless them and to give them comfort because my son is with Jesus. And I pray that this tragedy will bring more people close to Jesus," she explained.

Gill has been released on $13,300 bond from the Columbia County jail.


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