'I blinked and a young boy got hit:' Nurse witnesses crash that killed 7-year-old crossing street

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County police have identified a 7-year-old boy who was killed while crossing a busy road on his way home from school.

Dunaire Elementary student William Townsend had just gotten off his school bus and tried to cross four lanes of North Decatur Road.

Police say that's when a driver came over a rise and did not see the 7-year-old crossing the street until it was too late.

Martha Griffin told Channel 2's investigative partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the accident happened right in front of her.

"I don't understand how she didn't see him," Griffin said. "I blinked and a young boy got hit by a car."


Griffin is a nurse and says she pulled over to try and help Townsend, but the boy's injuries seemed too severe.

“I know CPR but unfortunately I wasn’t able to perform it because I didn’t want to move him. He was on his stomach. I wish I would’ve but couldn't," she said.

Police say Townsend was not in a crosswalk and the driver stopped after the accident, so the chances are she won't face any charges.

On Wednesday afternoon, Channel 2's Richard Elliot was at the scene, where there is now a small memorial with a teddy bear and small candles.

Some of the parents waiting for their kids at the bus stop told Elliot they would like to see more crosswalks on North Decatur Road.

Griffin says the image of that accident will never leave her.

“I couldn’t fathom the thought. And that’s why I’m here this morning because I wanted to understand," she said.

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