April 12, 2007
AUGUSTA, Ga.---A tragic accident claimed the life of a south Augusta teenager this afternoon. 17-year-old Jeffrey Griffin was killed while riding his bicycle.
He was hit by a truck at the intersection of Travis and Daisy Lane.
Officers believe the teenager rode out in front of the pickup truck, giving the driver no time for him to stop.
To make matters worse, neighbors tell News 12 it's an ongoing problem there.
It's a big neighborhood where lots of children play, but there's lots of traffic also. And even today while we were there, a couple of children ran out in front of us.
Residents say they believe the problem starts at home and should be addressed there, before another tragedy happens.
"When they come out of Daisy Lane, they come out in front of him, so fast he couldn't stop in time to avoid striking Mr. Griffin," Richmond County coroner Grover Tuten told News 12.
You can see the skid marks on Travis Street where the driver attempted to avoid hitting 17-year-old Jeffrey Griffin. Authorities say there was no possible way for him to stop.
Residents say it's taken this sad occasion for the realization to set in. They claim that more often than not, children are out in the streets, unsupervised.
"I've even said to my kids, something is going to happen. Something is going to happen to wake up the parents eyes to what's going on," said neighbor Wendy Lacobucci.
Wendy says that she's had some close calls, and she says while driving through her neighborhood a child could run out in front of a car at any moment.
"Kids are always out in the streets, they try to chase cars, like, 'Come on and hit me,'" Wendy said. "Kids aren't watching, and I have to be careful as a driver, and it's terrible. It's not just little kids, it's older kids."
"I don't understand it," Aolette Stewart said. "Parents need to watch their kids."
Aolette has lived in the area for over 40 years. She agrees that parents should be more responsible.
"They're riding their bicycles, they don't get out of the street," she said. "I had to get out several times and say, 'Hey move.'"
"And you would think kids would be in the house at dark, but they're not," Wendy said. "They're not. They're outside in the dark with dark clothes on, and you can't see them. It's horrible."
"Now it's up to the parents to say enough is enough," Aolette said. "You know, if they're working, let the neighbors watch the kids...but don't let the kids run in the streets."
As for the driver of the pickup truck, authorities say he was not speeding and it could have been any driver on that stretch. No charges are expected to be filed.