10-year-old girl hit, killed while walking to store

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A 10-year-old girl was hit and killed early Thursday morning trying to cross a busy road to get to a snack at the BP Gas Station with her siblings, according to the Douglas County Sheriff.

It happened at Maxham Road and Old Alabama Road in Douglas County around 5 a.m.

Channel 2's Matt Johnson learned the 10-year-old Kennade Patterson was with her 12-year-old brother and 16-year-old sister when they snuck out of the house to the gas station to get a bag of potato chips, something they had done before.

Patterson died at the scene. Patterson's older brother and older sister were not hurt.

According to GSP Sgt. Michael Land, the mother of the victim was working an overnight shift at the hospital and her father, a truck driver, was away at work. The children were home with their grandmother. The grandmother was asleep when the kids went out.

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Authorities say the driver, 32-year-old Ryan Nickerson, thought he hit something and went to the next stop where he called 911.

Nickerson will not face any charges because Patterson was not in a crosswalk.

Channel 2 spoke with neighbors in the area who say they've been calling for a crosswalk for years and are devastated to learn of Patterson's death.

"It's just heartbreaking to know that a 10-year-old would lose their life at that intersection. It's just heartbreaking," said Monique Jackson.

Evelina Marshall, a neighbor, said she feared it would it happen, even before this tragic moment.

"It bother's me," Marshall said. "I got grandbabies."

This the third death at this intersection in three years. Two memorials are resting at this intersection where a 71-year-old driver died in May and a 25-year-old woman died crossing the street in 2014.

Neighbors say they need more lighting in this area, and they have some ideas on what can be done to make this area safer for pedestrians, whether at night or in daylight.

Patterson's family started a GoFundMe account to help pay for her funeral arrangements.