COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A school crossing guard was hit and killed while directing traffic Thursday morning, as children watched on in horror.
Counselors spent the day at Lindley Middle School.
The incident happened around 9 a.m. in front of the school along Veterans Memorial Highway in Mableton.
"I see a car come, I mean, burst out of nowhere," Sakinah Anderson told Channel 2's Chris Jose after seeing the wreck. "Everyone is stopping, but he's still going and he swerves into the Ceterain Lane there. And the lady is like, 'Stop, stop.' One cross guard went one way, she went the other way. Once she noticed she wasn't stopping, she tried to turn around a little bit, and he hit her. She was flipping up to the power lines. I knew it was over at that point."
Family members were too distraught to speak with Jose on camera, but they gave him a picture of crossing guard Edna Umeh.
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Jose learned Umeh has a grandchild who attends Lindsley Middle school.
Roland Brigers was Umeh's landlord and friend. He told Jose that Umeh had a kind soul.
“I was with her last night. Now she's gone, but everybody will miss her,” Brigers said. "She had a real magnetic personality. You couldn't help but like her."
Police say the driver of the car, identified as Lamonte Whitaker, aggressively went into the center lane in heavy traffic in a designated school zone where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour.
Witnesses said Whitaker was driving recklessly and was speeding.
“Everyone's driving slow, he comes swerving out of nowhere. Swerving right into the lane where the cross guards are,” Anderson said.
A representative from ride-sharing service Uber confirmed Thursday that Whitaker was an Uber driver. They told Jose in a statement that Whitaker did not have a passenger at the time of the incident and they have removed his profile from the app.
“This is a horrible tragedy and deeply upsetting. Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and the Lindley Middle School community during this difficult time,” the statement said.
Uber said they will work with authorities in any way they can to help with the investigation.