Police have arrested an 18-year-old Douglas County girl for the felony hit-and-run accident that left a local man dead.
Tabitha Anna Paige, 18, of Villa Rica, was arrested in the early morning hours Saturday and charged with felony hit and run resulting in serious injury. Douglasville Police Chief Chris Womack said a tip led them to Paige and the car that they believe she was driving on Saturday, Sept. 14 when it struck 41-year-old Gary T. "Tommy" Latimer as he was walking across Fairburn Road after his release from police custody.
"We received a citizen tip and investigators who had been working non-stop since the accident were able to use that to locate the suspect and the vehicle," Womack said. "The car had been transported to Heflin, Alabama where body work had already been started on it."
Womack said that the car was impounded and brought back to Douglas County where it is being processed. The investigation is still active and Womack said that there are a number of other people who are cooperating with investigators. He did not rule out further arrests in the case.
"It is still a very active investigation," Womack said. "Obviously, Ms. Paige likely had some help and we are looking at every aspect of that as we work through this."
Police believe that Paige's vehicle was traveling north on Fairburn Road towards I-20 at 10:15 p.m. Investigators were able to determine the kind of vehicle that struck Latimer.
Evidence found at the scene suggested that the vehicle was maroon 1997-1998 Buick Regal or Century Limited with damage to the sideview mirror.
Latimer was arrested and taken into police custody after he was disoriented and approached two residences on Pinecrest Drive in Douglasville, including the home of Mayor Harvey Persons.
Records show he was arrested and just 52 minutes after he was booked in for public intoxication, he was bonded out by Best Bonding. Four minutes later the 911 call was made that a pedestrian had been hit.
"We are glad that we were able to locate this suspect – especially for the Latimer family," Womack said. "I know nothing will erase the pain they feel, but hopefully by bringing the person responsible to justice they can get a degree of closure."