Worker killed after woman drives onto sidewalk on busy road, police say

By: Liz Artz

Updated:

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A worker was killed after a woman drove onto the sidewalk of a busy road and hit them, police told Channel 2 Action News.

The victim was identified as father of two, Joseph Ponce.

Officials said the incident happened on Akers Mill Road at Galleria Drive at 8 a.m. Wednesday. 

Channel 2's Liz Artz watched as co-workers came out and established a memorial with balloons Wednesday afternoon. 


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Ponce was on the job doing maintenance when this happened, police said.

Ponce has a very close family and his cousin worked for the same company.

“He says, ‘Fritz, come on bad news.’ ‘What is the bad news?’ ‘Your cousin pass away.’ ‘My cousin?’ ‘Yeah my cousin.’ I don't know, I see police and they say, ‘sir, where are you going?’ ‘Let me see.’” said Ponce's cousin, Fritz Cherichel.

The cousins were close, Cherichel said they moved to Georgia together after growing up in Haiti.
“We play soccer when we was 10, 9 years old together,” Cherichel said.

He said they both worked for HTH Building Services. Cherichel said Ponce was cleaning the grassy area off the Cobb County road when police said 30-year-old Toni Hale slammed into the 50-year-old father of two.

His wife, Wilma Ponce, met him after he moved to Atlanta. Through tears, she said she doesn't know what she'll do without him.

"I don't know, only God knows,” Wilma Ponce said. “I don't think I'm going to take it I don't know."

"I feel hurt my heart breaking because I lost him for life,” said Ponce’s brother, Michelin Joseph.

Channel 2 Action News called the company Ponce works for but they did not return our phone call. 

Police said Hale could be charged with vehicular homicide, distracted driving and failure to maintain lane. 

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