By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police are not commenting on any progress that might have been made in the investigation of a hit-and-run collision that killed A University of Georgia student early Sunday morning.
Police would not even comment if they recovered any debris that, if made public, might help identify the color, make or model of the vehicle that struck and killed 21-year-old Knox Whiten, a UGA student from Toccoa.
When asked Friday about any progress in the investigation, ACCPD Public Information Officer Lt. Shaun Barnett said that in light of many inquiries from the public and media, the police department’s command staff formulated the following statement for public release:
“We are in contact with the victim’s immediate family and are providing them case updates; however, due to the investigation's ongoing nature, we are unable to release information publicly at this time. Thank you for understanding that to preserve the integrity of the investigation, many details are unable to be released. As hard as it may be, please be patient as the case remains under investigation.”
According to police, Whiten was walking in a travel lane of the Athens Perimeter near North Chase Street when he was struck from behind.
According to Barnett, police received a 911 call about someone walking on the highway at bout 1:53 a.m., but by the time officers arrived in the area, Whiten had already been fatally struck while walking in the right lane of the highway's outer loop.
According to Barnett, officers were unable to immediately locate any debris that might indicate the make, model or color of the vehicle, but officers returned the scene the next day. Police would not disclose if any evidence was located.
Police asked for anyone who might have witnessed the incident or has knowledge about it to contact Officer First Class James Trotter at email@example.com or (762) 400-7326; or Lt. Jonathan McIlvanie at firstname.lastname@example.org or (762) 400-7089. Anonymous tips can be made by calling the Crime Stoppers confidential tip line at (706) 705-4775.