STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. — Police are urging a suspected hit-and-run driver to surrender after they said he struck and killed an officer who was helping a stranded motorist south of Atlanta.
Henry County Police officer Elgin Daniel, 53, of Ellenwood was helping a stranded driver who had run out of gas on North Henry Boulevard when a Ford F-250 pickup truck slammed into him around 6:40 p.m. Monday, Henry County police Sgt. Joey Smith said.
The truck hit Daniel and a second motorist who had stopped to help, and then kept going east toward Rockdale County, authorities said.
“I was standing behind the car. They were standing on the side of the car. The next thing I saw, there were two bodies going through the air,” said witness Gordon Jarrett. Jarrett said he was on his way home when his car ran out of gas, stranding him in the center lane.
Daniel and the other motorist who was struck were taken to Atlanta Medical Center with serious injuries, but the officer did not survive, police said.
Daniel was a retired DeKalb County police lieutenant who served 25 years with that agency. He had worked for the Henry County department for the past two years.
“He left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of his fellow officers.” Interim DeKalb County Police Chief Lisa Gassner and Public Safety Director William Z. Miller said in a statement. “He will forever be remembered as a man who always encouraged others to challenge themselves and strive to live a life of excellence.”
The truck’s front, left side is believed to be damaged and the side door mirror is missing, authorities said. The vehicle is believed to be between 1997 and 2008 model years.