Woman was on her phone when she hit, killed inmate, police say

Police say woman who hit, killed inmate on work detail was on cell phone

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — An inmate on work detail was hit and killed by a car in Gwinnett County Wednesday morning.

The group of inmates was working on Highway 29 and Lawrenceville/Suwanee Road when the crash happened around 9:45 a.m. The inmate who was hit was holding the stop/slow sign alerting drivers to the work that was going on.

Officials say the inmate was 22-years-old, serving a sentence at Gwinnett County prison and had been on work detail for about five months.

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The 44-year-old driver who hit the inmate stayed on the scene, according to officials. Police say Jennifer Adkins was distracted by her phone at the time of the crash. She has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, distracted driving and following too closely.

"It doesn't appear that DUI, drugs or speed were factors. It's all still under investigation so additional details will come to light," said Cpl. Will Rundles with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

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"I've known Jennifer a long time, she is obviously devastated," Adkins' attorney, Tracy Drake, told Channel 2's Tony Thomas.

Drake came to the scene as soon as she heard her friend had hit and killed someone.

"It's a horrible horrible accident," she said.

After being questioned, the remaining inmates on the work detailed were ushered away in a waiting van.

Thomas was the only reporter there as family and friends tried to console Adkins, just before police handcuffed her, charging her with misdemeanor vehicular homicide.

"She will be out on bond, it will probably take several months for the solicitors office to finish their investigation, and at that point we will decide what we will need to do from there," Adkins said.