Hit and Run Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide
The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) was investigating a hit and run incident in eastern Paulding County that occurred March 18 on Ga. Hwy. 120 near Fox Lane and the Cobb County line.
A motorist reportedly struck and killed a road construction worker and then fled the scene.
Manuel Martinez, 21, of Villa Rica was being held at the Paulding County Jail on $38,700 bond after the incident.
According to information provided by the GSP, Martinez was traveling west in the right lane on Hwy. 120 in a 2003 Honda Accord about 3:10 p.m.
Martinez’s Accord approached a truck attached to a traffic signal trailer with a lane shift light flashing and was parked partially in the right lane. Leon Berry, 40, of Riverdale stood on the trailer, which was parked next to a private drive, a patrol spokesperson said. As the Honda approached the truck Berry reportedly jumped from the trailer on to an area next to the entrance to the private drive on the north shoulder of Hwy. 120 to avoid the impact, the GSP reported. Martinez, who was passing improperly, then struck Berry with the front of the Honda before fleeing the scene, the GSP reported.
Several witnesses reportedly followed the Honda and a Paulding County sheriff’s deputy ordered Martinez to stop before detaining him. Martinez has been charged with vehicular homicide, failure to stop at an accident with injury, failure to report an accident with damage, and other crimes.
The patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team then conducted a follow-up investigation that was not complete March 20, the GSP report stated.