by: Mike Petchenik Updated:NORTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. —
Alpharetta police now say a distracted driver on her
cellphone caused a wreck last month on Georgia 400 that claimed the life of a 67-year-old Cumming man.
Haleigh Davis Fine, 23, turned herself into police Wednesday morning on second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane charges. Police said the Alpharetta woman was on her phone April
11 when she veered into an adjacent lane, and bumped Edward Kivlin's Nissan Pathfinder, causing it to lose control and roll over several times. Kivlin died on the scene.
"It was sad," said Kivlin's neighbor, Waylon Franklin. "It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."
Franklin told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik he was driving on Georgia
400 that morning and saw the police rushing to the crash. It wasn't until later that he learned it involved his neighbor.
"Always waving and smiling," he said of Kivlin.
"A quiet guy and ideal neighbor."
Franklin called the incident a "tragedy," but said Kivlin deserves some justice for what happened.
"You're driving a
2,000-pound rocket," he said. "You've got to be mindful on the road."
Ironically, just days after Kivlin's death, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called for an outright ban on
cellphones in cars. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly 3,000 people died last year because of distracted drivers.
Alpharetta Public Safety Officer George Gordon told Petchenik this wreck underscores the need for people to be careful on the road.
"The heartbreaking thing about this whole thing is we had a totally innocent driver lose his life driving straight in his lane and not doing anything wrong," said Gordon.