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Pedestrian killed when struck by car in northwest Athens-Clarke Co.

By Joe Johnson

A pedestrian was killed early Monday morning while walking in the middle of a road in northwestern Athens-Clarke County.

The incident was the county's 19th traffic fatality in 2021, making this year the deadliest on local roadways since 2009. when there was a record high of 16 people who were killed in vehicle collisions.

According to Athens-Clarke County police, 32-year-old John Joseph Walling was walking north in the middle of the righthand, southbound lane of Jefferson Road, a four-lane highway when he was fatally struck by a southbound passenger car.

Police said they were notified of the incident at about 12:09 a.m.

Walling was wearing dark clothing and was struck near Oak Grove Road, an area where police said there was “minimal ambient lighting.”

The two passengers of the 2013 Honda Civic that struck the pedestrian sustained minor injuries, according to police.

An investigation was ongoing and police asked for anyone who had information about the incident to contact Officer First Class Zachary Compton at (762) 400-7377 or

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