Cobb County

Police: 2 young fathers killed in possible street race were innocent victims

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Two young fathers are dead, and police say they were innocent victims in a possible street race.

The victims' families met with Channel 2's Chris Jose at the scene in Mableton Monday.

“There was no reason for this tragic accident to happen,” Tabitha Segers said.

Segers is James Wheeler’s younger sister. Cobb police say Wheeler, who was driving a Toyota Yaris, turned onto Floyd Road from Bates Drive into the path of another driver around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday.

“You see this road? There was no reason for anybody going that fast here,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler and his passenger, 35-year-old Douglas “Patrick” Duff died, at the hospital.

Wheeler’s mother went to the scene on Monday afternoon to grieve.

“Tell me why a 19-year-old would do that?” Suzanne Wheeler asked.


Officers said the man behind the wheel of a damaged red Infiniti is George Cambi.

A police spokesman told Jose it’s under investigation if the 19-year-old was in a street race with another car.

“You have to realize that mistakes do happen. He’s a kid. He was going fast,” family friend Evan Longnecker said.

“Now their kids are going to grow up without their dad. I lost a father figure to me,” Duff’s sister, Brittani Marotti, said.

Marotti said her brother has three children, including an 8-month-old girl.

Meanwhile, Wheeler’s son is now preparing to attend a funeral instead of preparing for his 9th birthday.

Police said the 19-year-old driver will be facing charges. He's currently recovering at the hospital, along with a child he had in his car.

Investigators are working to get a description of the second car involved in the possible street racing.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the victims' families.