DeKalb County

7-year-old boy killed trying to cross four lanes of traffic identified

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 7-year-old child died after he was hit by a car in the middle of a busy North Decatur road in DeKalb County Tuesday around 3 p.m., police said.

Police identified the boy as William Campbell.

DeKalb County police said it appears the driver was coming over a hill and did not see Campbell.

Officials said the 7-year-old was walking alone when he tried to cross four lanes of traffic. He was about a half-mile from where he lived.

"There's no stop sign, nobody is stopping cars, (they) just come down here flying," said DeKalb County resident Richard Sanders.

Police said the driver stopped after hitting the child just near the entrance of the Brentwood Apartments.

"The driver could not see the child as she was coming over the hill, and by the time she saw him, it was too late," said Shiera Campbell (unrelated), of the DeKalb County Police Department.

The incident is alarming to residents because of the amount of foot traffic in the area, including children. Neighbors said there is a lack of safe crossing zones.


Channel 2's Carl Willis mapped the area. He discovered there is about a half-mile between crosswalks.

"I would say they're pretty far apart, yes," Campbell said.

The boy had a backpack with him, according to police. DeKalb County Schools confirmed he was a student at Dunaire Elementary School.

The district released the following statement:

“We are heartbroken that one of our students, a 7-year-old just beginning his life, passed tragically this evening. Our thoughts are with his family and the Dunaire Elementary community during this difficult time. We will offer support to students and staff in the coming days, and will stand with them in support.”

Residents said they never want to experience this kind of loss again.

"We need to look at this area and put up some precautions for the safety of the children," Sanders said.

"You're going to have more accidents, especially with cars trying to get in here," said DeKalb County resident Jackie Bigby.