Gwinnett County

Man killed in tragic moving truck accident involving mother

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Police are trying to figure out what happened to cause a pickup truck and trailer to go out of control land run over a 29-year-old man.

Witnesses said the man’s mother was in the driver’s seat at the time, and investigators are calling it an unfortunate incident and have not filed any charges.

The incident occurred Sunday night on Highpoint Circle just outside the city limits of Snellville.

Witnesses said 64-year-old Rita Watson and her son, Rashad, had just arrived from Louisiana with the pickup truck and U-Haul trailer loaded with their belongings.




Channel 2's Gwinnett Bureau chief Tony Thomas spoke with residents who live in the apartment where the truck smashed through.

"The vehicle was literally right here," Donald Govan said.

He showed Thomas the damage to his living room. The entire front wall and support beams for a stairwell were knocked out.

Govan said he and his fiancé, Danielle Thomas, were upstairs when the incident happened about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

"At first I heard the crash, and I thought it was just dishes breaking downstairs," Govan said.

"I had to climb over the banister and step onto the vehicle to try and come down and see what was going on," Thomas added.

"I see this woman screaming hysterically, ‘Oh, my God, I ran him over,’ and I didn’t know what she was talking about," Govan said.

Then the couple realized someone had been run over.

Police said 29-year-old Rashad Watson had apparently been watching his mother move the truck when he was struck and killed.

Thomas asked Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Michele Pihera if investigators have any idea how the accident happened.

"We don't know. This incident happened so late in the night, so we've impounded the vehicle," Pihera responded.

Construction crews spent the day repairing the apartment.

For now, inspectors said no one can stay there.

"It breaks my heart to see him pass away, his mother has to be devastated right now. I mean you ran over your own child, that's hard," Govan said.

Detectives plan on inspecting the truck and trailer involved in the incident to determine if there was anything wrong mechanically that could have caused the accident.