Acworth man arrested in fatal hit and run of 7-year-old with autism

Cobb police SUV with "Crime Scene Unit" on side

According to a public information release from Sgt. Wayne Delk of the Cobb County Police Department, an arrest has been made in the fatal hit-and-run of a 7-year-old girl with autism that occurred on January 9.

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest]

The arrest of the 47-year old Acworth man suspected in the incident took place yesterday, Saturday, January 15, and the man was charged with felony hit-and-run.

The original public information release, reprinted below, describes the incident:

The Cobb County Police Department’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) unit is investigating a fatal hit and run traffic collision that occurred on New McEver Road east of McEver Woods Drive in Acworth on Sunday, January 9, 2022, at 10:16 p.m.

According to investigators, a 7-year-old Autistic female of Acworth, unknown to her parents, left her home and was walking in the eastbound lane of New McEver Road, east of McEver Woods Drive. A passenger vehicle traveling in the eastbound lane of New McEver Road struck the juvenile. The juvenile was redirected further east, coming to an uncontrolled rest face down, partially in the eastbound lane of travel and partially off the southern edge of New McEver Road.

The juvenile was pronounced deceased on the scene and her parents have been notified.

The vehicle that fled the scene should have front-end damage to include a missing University of Alabama vanity plate (see attached similar photo) and damage to one of the headlight assemblies, if not both.

The STEP Unit

The STEP Unit, which investigates serious or fatal traffic crashes, is one of the Cobb County Police Department’s Special Operations units, and is described on the web page of the Cobb County Police Department as follows:

“The Selective Traffic Enforcement Unit is responsible for investigating all fatal traffic crashes, enforcement of traffic laws in those areas which analysis indicates an elevated amount of crashes. They are also responsible for the administration and execution of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. They also take part in special security details, and investigate crashes involving Department vehicles when requested.”