Investigators search for driver that struck, killed man in crosswalk

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County police are looking for the driver of a van that hit and killed a 57-year-old man as he walked through a crosswalk.

Channel 2's Craig Lucie spoke with the victim's brother, James Davenport, who said his brother, Joseph Davenport, was struck so hard that his shoes flew off and his body ended up at least 50 feet from the crosswalk.

James Davenport said when he approached the scene Friday around 9 p.m. he knew his life would never be the same.

"I spotted my brother's shoe on the ground," James Davenport said.

Police said Joseph Davenport, an Army veteran, died on impact when he was in the crosswalk. Police said a van, possibly a dark-colored Chevrolet, ran a red light and struck him.

James Davenport said another driver saw everything unfold.

"After she stopped to let him pass, a van came flying down and that's when he was struck," explained James Davenport.

Police are reviewing traffic light cameras at the scene. They say the driver of the van kept heading south on Columbia Drive.

"They did recover a lens from the headlight of the van," said James Davenport.

James Davenport said he and his brother were inseparable. They are only a year apart and says his brother could always brighten someone's day.

"It was a rite of passage that he always had a smile. You could always identify him by his smile," said James Davenport.

The accident occurred a block from Joseph Davenport's home. When an officer arrived at their house to share the tragic news, one of Joseph Davenport's three grandchildren wanted to make one thing clear.

"His grandson burst out because he heard it and he told the police officer that he was the best poppa (he) ever had," said James Davenport.

That officer wouldn't let James Davenport see his brother that night, but James Davenport told Lucie that the father of six is in a better place and he probably left this world with what he was always known for.

"One of the reasons I wanted to see my brother is to see if he had that smile on his face," James Davenport said tearfully.

James Davenport and his brother had a holiday tradition where they would go out and cut their own Christmas tree down. They had that planned for Tuesday.

If you have any information regard the accident, you can call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-tips (404-577-8477)

James Davenport says they also need help paying for his funeral, so if you would like to help you can contact him at 678-973-7355.



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