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Pedestrian killed by car in west Athens, driver charged with homicide

By Joe Johnson

A pedestrian was killed early Tuesday morning by a hit-and-run driver who was found to be intoxicated when he was later located and arrested, according to the Athen-Clarke County Police Department.

The incident occurred at about 3:40 a.m. on West Broad Street, police said, and an officer who was in the area of Beech Haven Church and heard the crash responded to the scene where 34-year-old Michael Kitchen was lying unresponsive in the roadway. The vehicle that struck him had left the scene.

Kitchen, from the city of Madison, was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

Police said that after an investigation, the driver was located and arrested. Benhur Tesfai, 21, of Lilburn, was charged with DUI, first-degree homicide by vehicle, and leaving the scene of an accident with serious injury.

Benhur Tesfai

The investigation is ongoing and police asked for anyone with relevant information to contact Senior Police Officer Joey Lewis at 762-400-7169 or Joey.Lewis@accgov.com.


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Punish the drunk to the fullest extent of the law.


Crosswalks exist 100 yards in either direction from the accident site.

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