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Man admits to 3 beers at a party before killing teen pedestrian in crosswalk


Cobb County police investigators said they believe Jerome L. Cox, of Powder Springs, was driving under the influence of alcohol when he struck and killed a 17 year-old teenage pedestrian. The crash happened Friday at 8:20 p.m. on Ben King Road near Town Center mall and Cobb County International Airport in Kennesaw.

According to police, Cox, 68, was driving a 2017 GMC Acadia eastbound and was approaching a crosswalk as a group of juveniles was in the process of crossing Ben King Road at the designated crosswalk when the GMC collided with one of them.

The impact threw the tee pedestrian into a wooded area on the shoulder of the road. The 17-year old, whose name was not released, was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital in critical condition. She died on Sunday from the injuries, according to police.

The teen was a student at Harrison High School. The school system expressed deep sadness over the sudden loss, offering condolences to the student’s family, friends, and the entire Harrison community. Grief counselors were made available to support students and staff coping with the tragedy.

According to the arrest warrant, Cox smelled like alcohol at the scene of the crash and admitted to police that he had been drinking, but refused to give a breath sample. “Accused emitted a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage, which was strongest when he spoke, had bloodshot and watery eyes, admitted to consuming three beers while at a Christmas party, refused to provide a voluntary breath sample or perform any voluntary field evaluations,” the warrant stated.

Neither Cox nor his passenger were injured in the crash. Cox was arrested at the scene and charged with serious injury by vehicle, DUI, obstruction and failure to yield to a pedestrian, police said. The charges were later upgraded to include first-degree vehicular homicide after the victim died. Cox was booked into the Cobb County Adult Detention Center following the crash and is being held there without bond, according to jail records. 

The investigation into this collision is ongoing, and anyone with additional information is asked to contact investigators at 770-499-3987.

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