Rockdale County

Mother launches safety campaign after 10-year-old son dies while riding bike to his Conyers home

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. — A mother whose 10-year-old son was killed riding his bike is urging kids and drivers to be safe when they’re on the road.

Kai Ellis McNair was hit as he crossed a busy road trying to get home. His mother and the county are gearing up for a safety event called Ride For Kai.

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Jocelyn McNair says she’s on a mission to raise awareness about bike safety. She doesn’t want anyone to go through what she and her family are going through.

“It was the hardest, the hardest day of my life. It was it absolutely was,” she told Channel 2′s Tom Jones.

March 22, 2021, was hard for McNair because she lost the love of her life.

“He was a special soul.”

Her 10-year-old son, Kai, was hit and killed as he crossed Ebenezer Road while riding his bike. McNair says her son was riding with his 12-year-old friend CJ, who tried to warn him.

“So CJ started screaming hurry up Kai! It’s a car. It’s a car coming. But it was too late,” she said.


Rockdale County deputies say the driver, 27-year-old Lakeya Shumate, hit Kai and kept going. McNair wondered what kind of mother would do that.

“And not to assist or call for help,” she wondered out loud.

McNair preached to Kai about being safe while riding. But she says sometimes, kids don’t listen.

“So unfortunately he didn’t wear his helmet that day,” McNair said.

McNair wants to make sure kids on bikes practice bike safety every time they ride.

“Like reflectors on your bike, wearing elbow and knee pads and proper shoes,” she pointed out.

But most of all, never ride without a helmet.

“Very important, very important because that protects your head injuries,” she said.

She’s also urging drivers to watch for kids and even adults on bikes.

“Not being on your phone. Being present when you’re driving,” McNair explained.

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McNair says she misses her son. But she says she is on a mission.

“To make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

Shumate faces several charges, including felony vehicular homicide, leaving the scene and child cruelty.

The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office started the Ride For Kai bike safety and awareness event after he was killed.

It will be held at the South Rockdale Community Park on Saturday, July 22.