Updated: May 13
By Joe Johnson
Investigators have located a male who was driving a car on the Athens Perimeter Tuesday morning when an Athens woman fell from the vehicle and was struck and killed by a truck that was traveling behind, Athens-Clarke County police announced Wednesday afternoon.
Investigators had yet to determine whether 32-year-old Angelica Johnson accidentally fell out of the car, was forced out, got out on her own, or something else happened, according to Lt. Shaun Barnett, public information officer for ACCPD.
Barnett said the driver had been interviewed, but he would not disclose if the driver shed light on how Johnson exited the car.
Police said he drove away as Johnson was in the roadway.
“At this time, the driver of that vehicle has not been charged with any crimes related to this incident,” the officer said. “However, the investigation is active and ongoing.”
The car that Johnson came out of prior to being hit by the truck was also recovered, he said.
Barnett would not describe the type of relationship Johnson and the driver had.
He said that investigators were still searching for the vehicle that struck Johnson.
It was described as a dark-colored, full-size pickup truck with chrome bed rails.
The incident, reported at 11:49 a.m., occurred on the perimeter’s outer loop between Lexington Road and Olympic Drive, according to police.
Beth Reinhardt said she was several vehicles behind the car Johnson was in when she heard the sound made by the pickup striking Johnson.
On her way home to North Carolina from a Mother’s Day visit in South Georgia, Reinhardt tearfully recalled what happened next:
A man parked his truck in front of the injured woman, to protect her from being hit by additional vehicles. While that man called 911, Reinhardt said she got a jacket from her car that she placed over Johnson so that other motorists couldn’t take photos or videos of the victim.
“I had never seen anything so horrific,” the woman said. “And to think it happened right after Mother’s Day because she had a mother and might have been a mother herself.”
Johnson is survived by three children.
Reinhardt said that she and some other motorists who stopped, stood around Johnson’s covered body. “We all just stood there and prayed for her,” she said.
One man who stopped at the scene located Johnson’s phone on the grassy shoulder and gave it to a police officer, she said.
The group remained with the fatally-injured woman until she was transported by ambulance to the hospital, where Johnson was pronounced deceased.
“I found out later last night that she passed,” Reinhardt said, “I cried all night about it.”
Scores of friends and relatives offered prayers and condolences on Johnson’s Facebook page, some of whom grew up and attended school with Johnson.
Recurring adjectives people used when describing their late loved one included “warm” and “caring.”
“Damn man why do the good have to die?? I wake up to tears seeing my good classmate just passed on (Mother’s Day),“ one person wrote “I’m so hurt I can’t put this pain on anybody. I’m praying for her babies. Praying she gets Justice. That was my cut up in class buddy from elementary to high￼ my ace.”
Another person created a GoFundMe account to raise donations for funeral expenses.
The investigation is ongoing and anybody with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Detective Scott Black at firstname.lastname@example.org (762) 400-7058 or Officer First Class Dustin Tilley at email@example.com (762) 400-7355.