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Marietta Mother Convicted of Vehicular Homicide

The woman, whose 4-year-old son was hit and killed when they tried crossing Austell Road, will learn her fate at a sentencing hearing on July 26.

A Marietta mother whose child was hit and killed by a driver who had been drinking may serve more time than the driver, according to various news reports.

Raquel Nelson, now 30, was attempting to cross an intersection of Austell Road in Marietta with her three young children when her 4-year-old son was struck by a hit-and-run driver in April 2010, according to news reports. The boy, A.J., died from his injuries.

Nelson’s 9-year-old daughter was unharmed, and Nelson and her 2-year-old daughter suffered minor injuries.

According to the Daily Mail, residents of the family’s apartments have complained of the dangerous intersection for some time.

The child was killed at an intersection of a four-lane road separated by a thin concrete strip. The intersection has a Walk Score of 25, meaning the area has “few amenities within walking distance.”

Walk Score is a number from 0 to 100 that measures the walkability of any address; scores of 24 and below mean that “almost all errands require a car.” The nearest crosswalk is half a mile away.

At a court hearing July 26, Nelson could be sentenced to up to 36 months in prison, said her attorney, David Savoy.

Nelson was convicted this week of homicide by vehicle in the second degree, crossing a roadway elsewhere than at a crosswalk and reckless conduct, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Reports state that Jerry L. Guy, the driver who admitted hitting and killing the child, served six months of his five-year sentence and was released Oct. 29. He will spend the remainder of his sentence on probation.

Guy was originally charged with hit-and-run, first-degree homicide by vehicle and cruelty to children, but he pleaded guilty to just the hit-and-run charge.

According to court records, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Guy was previously convicted of two other hit-and-runs committed one day in February 1997. Guy received a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty but was out in less than a year, the Department of Corrections website shows.

Pam J July 15, 2011 at 07:15 PM
This happened in 1997? By the way, I saw a woman and four children trying to cross Powder Springs Road the other day just a few yards from a legal crosswalk. Luckily a couple of cars stopped right before hitting them. Will people ever learn that crosswalks are there for their safety?
Holly Roberson (Editor) July 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM
The incident happened in April 2010. We have corrected the story. Thanks for the catch.
Jeff Newfeld July 25, 2011 at 03:14 PM
"Will people ever learn..." The story says that the nearest crosswalk is half a mile away. With kids that age that's more than 30 minutes of extra travel. Easy to see how this could happen.

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