Cobb County

Friends honor teen who was hit, killed on motorcycle over the weekend

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A Cobb County community is remembering a local high school junior who was hit and killed over the weekend riding his motorcycle in Marietta.

Neighbors told Channel 2′s Michele Newell that the Piedmont and Bob Bettis roads intersection, where Gabriel McLachlan died, is dangerous.

Now, neighbors said they want to see a traffic light at the intersection to avoid another tragedy.

“I was just kind of praying to God, saying ‘please tell me he’s not gone,’” Russell Yoharry, McLachlan’s friend, said.

“I kept crying and crying. It totally broke my heart,” friend Lisbeth Mejia said.

Those who knew and loved McLachlan are keeping memories of him close to their hearts.

“I think about all the memories we made together and how I’m going to miss him a lot,” Yoharry said.

“He was just a really great guy,” Mejia said. “Determined, unique, free spirited, loyal.”

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His friends told Newell that McLachlan was an ambitious 17 year-old who was focused on his future.

“He wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force,” Yoharry said.

McLachlan was on his motorcycle when he was struck by a vehicle and killed. The driver has not been charged but police said they are still investigating.

“I lived here for 20 years and we’ve had more accidents in the past month than any other time,” neighbor Laurel Smith said.

“It’s pretty dangerous to be honest. I’m not quite sure why, but we had six accidents in three weeks,” said another neighbor, who asked not to be identified. “I feel like there should a traffic light here or something.”

There is a growing memorial at the intersection where McLachlan was killed as friends stop by to pay their respects.

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Michele Newell

Michele Newell

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.