Scott Hancock (WRDW-TV)
News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Richmond County investigators were out on Belair Road Thursday, recreating an accident that put a 20-year-old behind bars and an 8 year old on life support.
The little boy's fate is still uncertain, but specially trained deputies on the STAR team are working to find out exactly how that accident happened.
Lt. Ramone Lampkin says, "It's pinpoint accuracy so you can go back and re-create the accident, and show what happened."
Which is what deputies are doing, using laser precision to pinpoint each point of impact. They're retracing exactly what happened Monday morning, when deputies say a van hit an 8-year-old Cross Creek student.
He was trying to cross Belair Rd. near Asbury Place to get on his school bus. Officials say three other students were on the bus when it happened.
Cheri Ogden, the principal of Sue Reynolds Elementary says, "We have the privilege of having a full-time counselor here, so she was here, and the school social worker was here when the bus arrived in case the children knew anything or were upset."
Since that day, counselors have been on call, ready if they are needed. Principal Ogden says the accident has been hard for everyone to deal with.
"All of us feel very attached to the family and our prayers are going up all the time, but we have to stay composed because the children are looking to us to see how we handle this," she explains.
While family and friends come to grips with an accident that has left an 8-year-old fighting for his life, deputies are focused on putting the pieces of the accident together.
Lt. Lampkin says, "We don't do this for normal accidents, deputies can handle that, but for anytime there's a prosecutable fatality or serious injury, we have a STAR team out to make sure we have all the evidence right and get it ready for prosecution."
Right now, the lasers are the best technology they have, but in the near future, they are hoping to purchase a 3-D program that would use their data to recreate the accident for them.
"It would be a 3-D image so we can give the jury, if we ever take it to trial, an exact replication of what happened that day," he says.
That technology costs around $8,000 , but it's on the Sheriff's Office wish list. Of course, budget constraints will dictate how soon they can purchase that equipment.
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Copyright WRDW-TV News 12. All rights reserved. This material may not be republished without express written permission.