Justin Sullivan was just an hour and three minutes into his 25th birthday Friday when he and another man were hit and killed by a Barnesville police car.
Sullivan, the grandson of one of the citys first black officers, died along with 21-year-old Quinton Byrd, of Forsyth, on U.S. 41, also known as Veterans Parkway.
They probably didnt know what hit them, said Walter Geiger, one of the owners of the local newspaper. Its a hill, and they were crossing on the far side of the hill near a convenience store.
Geiger went to the scene and took pictures for the Herald-Gazette.
There were cellphones and hats everywhere, Geiger said.
Investigators had spray-painted the word pants and a circle marking where one of the victims trousers landed.
Police Officer Terry Belvin sustained injuries in the accident and was taken to the hospital.
Belvin was headed south near Grove Street when he came over the hill where the men were in his lane of the four-lane highway, Geiger said.
A woman with the two victims also might have been hit if she had not stopped to retrieve her flip-flop, folks at the scene told Geiger.
The Georgia State Patrol was called in to investigate minutes after the accident. The road was blocked off for hours. The patrols Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team will be conducting the investigation.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.