Just days after burying his mother, a 16-year-old boy from Cobb County, Georgia has been charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield because he was driving in the accident that killed her.
Kimberly Nichols, 45, died last Wednesday as the boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a minor, made a left turn from Dallas Highway onto Old Hamilton Road in Cobb County.
"It was green. There was a box truck on the other side turning also. They eased up. They both looked. She told him to go. He looked. They went," Nichols' husband, Michael Mosley, told ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.
A Ford Mustang slammed into them as they made the turn, sending them spinning into a collision with another car and causing the injuries that killed Nichols.
"He's got to live with this the rest of his life, there's no reason to charge my son with no second degree homicide," Mosley told WSB.
According to the Cobb County Police Department, Georgia law requires that the Special Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit, a group of officers who have an expertise in the area of crash reconstruction and investigation, be brought to the scene in the event of a crash causing fatal or critical injuries. After a thorough investigation, police said the STEP unit recommended that the teen be charged based on the evidence gathered.
Police Say Emotions Had No Role in Charges
"It is the job of those officers to investigate that crash and present it to the prosecution," Sgt. Dana Pierce, a spokesman for the Cobb County Police Department, told ABC News. "They will take the evidence and they will take the case and apply it to Georgia law, and the evidence they have as it applies to Georgia law gives them the legal authority to file charges against the at-fault driver...and that's what they've done in this case."
Michael Mosley said he thinks it is unfair to force his son to go through this ordeal so soon after the death of his mother. "We just got over a funeral for her, and he's trying to start to heal just a little bit," he told WSB.
The police department has received many emails critical of the decision, but Sgt. Pierce said Georgia law does not allow the police to consider emotions in cases.
"We are all grandfathers and parents, nobody knows the sensitivity and the heartfelt sadness that we have for, not only that 16-year-old, but that family as well," said Sgt. Pierce. "But understand that we have a job to do. And that job is to completely investigate that crash."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.