BAKER CO., GA (WALB) - A three year old boy was hit and killed along Highway 200 in Baker County, in a traffic related accident around 12:30 Thursday morning on Josie Miller Road near Highway 91 south and Georgia 200.
Georgia State Patrol investigators said Sue Freeman, 47, pulled her Ford Expedition off the road to get out and use the bathroom. As she did, the child, Kaiden Golden, got out to do the same thing.
He was hit by a pickup truck, driven by Melvin Freeman, 36, on his way back to the car. Kaiden's mother, Kenyta Golden, was also in the car at the time.
"He [Melvin Freeman] was subsequently charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, failure to render aid, and leaving the scene of an accident. The child was taken to the hospital and deceased a short time after," said Baker County Sheriff's Investigator Charles Griffin.
Spray paint and debris still mark the spot where Kaiden Golden was fatally struck on Josie Miller Road in Baker Co. GSP and Baker County investigators are still trying to figure out how it all happened. Early indications are that 3 year old Kaiden was hit in the middle of Josie Miller Road, and thrown 25 yards.
"His aunt and mother stopped in the middle of the road to use the restroom. The child made his way out of the car seat and into the road where he was subsequently struck by a passing vehicle," said Baker Co. investigator Charles Griffin.
Griffin says stopping in the middle of the road is not the ideal thing to do. "The best thing to do would be to pull off the side of the road and turn on your vehicles emergency flashers. Be sure to check your rearview mirror to and your front to make sure nothing is coming," said Griffin.
But those steps weren't taken. Melvin Freeman was arrested and charged with DUI, vehicular homicide, and leaving the scene of an accident after hitting Golden. He told authorities he thought he had hit an animal.
Griffin says that wouldn't have been an excuse to leave the scene though. "Just know that it's your responsibility as a driver to make sure that your roadway is clear and that when you do strike something, you're responsible for knowing what you hit," said Griffin.
Additional charges could be coming in the future.
Sue Freeman was arrested and charged with DUI and endangering a child under 14. She was released on bond.