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."

(3) comments

American1

If the guy that was killed bonded out 52 minutes after being arrested for public intoxication he was more than likely still intoxicated when we was struck and killed. That's nobody's fault but his... and possibly the City's for letting him out in the same condition he that they deemed it necessary to arrest him.

I can't imagine that in this day and age this young lady didn't call a friend or parent for advise. If she did, she got bad advise because had she simply stopped and rendered aid this would be a non-issue.

AgainReally

It seems a lot of people made mistakes.

SouthernWx
SouthernWx

A very sad case. Yes the girl made a tremendous mistake in not stopping, but others have to share the blame for this accident. What was this guy doing unattended walking the streets? Sorry he's dead, but if you get drunk/ high and go for a walk in the street or railroad tracks, you might just get run over. Odds are since the guy was apparently impaired by alcohol or medications and walking in the roadway, the teen wouldn't have faced any charges had she stopped. Now she's facing 5 to 15 years in prison because of a foolish decision. I truly fear for her safety behind bars, in a prison full of older, much meaner female felons. I also have an 18 year old niece; would scare me to death if she was in Tabitha's situation [sad]

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