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PTC youth falls from truck, then is run over by car

UPDATED print version (Tuesday, May 25, 2010) —Twenty-year-old Peachtree City resident Geofrey Griffith was killed late Saturday night when he fell out of the bed of a pickup truck and was subsequently struck by another vehicle along Ga. Highway 34 outside Newnan.

Coweta County Sheriff’s Traffic Lt. John LaChance said a Coweta deputy was flagged down by a motorist at 2:19 a.m. where Griffith’s body was found on the roadway on the eastbound side of Hwy. 34 near the Summit Healthplex area.

The incident was complicated by the fact that Griffith was struck by a 2005-2010 Chrysler 300 or Challenger vehicle after falling out of the pick-up truck, LaChance said. The vehicle was identified as a Chrysler by the debris left at the scene, the officer said.

LaChance said it is likely that the driver of the Chrysler, given the lack of visibility due to darkness, thought he or she had struck a dead deer or some other animal. No charges are anticipated at this time for the driver of the Chrysler, LaChance said, adding that the person is asked to contact him at 770-254-8922 or 770-253-1502.

LaChance said Griffith and another passenger had been riding in the bed of the pick-up truck with 20-year-old Decatur resident David Witucki, formerly of Peachtree City, behind the wheel.

Griffith had apparently been asleep and woke up and fell out of the vehicle after the three had apparently left a party in Newnan, LaChance said. Witucki knew the two passengers were in the bed of the truck and was headed to Griffith’s residence in Peachtree City, LaChance said.

LaChance said there is no current charge against Witucki relating to Griffith’s death since there was no swerving or braking at the scene and, consequently, it does not appear that Griffith was thrown from the truck.

Witucki was, however, charged with driving under the influence. LaChance and Peachtree City officers were at Griffith’s home to notify his family when Witucki arrived to drop off his friend, apparently unaware of what had happened. LaChance said he conducted a field sobriety test and arrested Witucki when he tested positive.

LaChance said investigators are currently waiting on Griffith’s autopsy report and a toxicology report.

LaChance thanked Peachtree City Police, Lt. Jennifer Michel and Bravo Team for their assistance in the incident.

LaChance said passengers under age 18 are not permitted to ride in the bed of a pick-up. Those 18 and older are permitted as long as the truck is not traveling on an interstate. The law changes effective July 1 when no one will be permitted to ride in the bed of a truck.

Funeral services are planned for Thursday in Peachtree City.


R.I.P. Geoff Griffith

(not griffin)

R.I.P. Geoff Griffith

(not griffin)

I don't see how Officer LaChance had time to get to the Griffith house before David Witucki did, if he had time to investigate the accident while Witucki went straight there.

I hope there will be an investigation of those who made these intoxicated youths to leave the party.

I hurt for Geoff's family! Please be considerate of them in your comments. Unless you have lost a child at this age, you have no idea of the pain involved! The boys who were with him and their families are also having to deal with a great amount of pain and guilt. Remember, the news reporter does not know everything!

Geoff, I will miss your smiling face and your hugs while you were always asking, "How are you doing today my second mom?" Geoff had a big heart and cared deeply about the ones around him. He will be greatly missed around my home and in our lives. Many, many prayers go out to his family and may they be able to have peace and comfort while dealing with their loss.

Deepest sympathy to his parents, family and friends. Our thoughts are with you. I hope the party they were coming from is fully investigated. What a terrible tragedy.

Mr. Nelms, The man's name is Geoff Griffith, 19. That's just the beginning. This article is full of erroneous information and details the parents have not even been made aware of. This is outrageous and irresponsible journalism! I would expect the details of such a tragedy to be confirmed before going to print. Big family. Small town. Lots of readers. I'm angered and disgusted by this coverage of the incident. Get the facts and amend this article.
Love to Kim, Gary and family.

Denise Jones

I have a Son who will be turning 18 this summer, this article hits home. A LOT can be learned from this hard lesson.

Again, Prayers to the Families...

This is not worth fighting over, but his name is Geofrey Thomas Griffith (spelling is correct). I am a very reliable source. I miss you already you were a part of my life for my whole life, I love you and miss you. Anyone who knew Geofrey will miss him. Oh and yes he was 19.

Geof was a shining light that touched all of those whop ever knew him. He loved his family and friends very much and them in turn to him. this is a tragedy. remeber geof and honor/treasure the time he was here and spent with us. Rest in Peace my brother we always remember and love you.

Geof Griffith, i miss you sooo much...i did everything i could to get you to stay with me, but the love for shelly you had was always did have a big heart, i will always love you bro!!!...its so sad knowing i was the last one to hug you...YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!

Not so much mad at the fact that the reporter does not even know what happened as much as I'm mad he spelt his name wrong. Geoff we will always love you and miss you forever. The Griffith's; We all loved your wonderful, cheerful, caring, and spontanious Geoff. If you EVER need ANYTHING (and i know i've told you this before) but please do not hesitate to call. There are so many of us that would do so much for your family. You are in our prayers<3

His name is spelled with one F. The reporter was correct in that aspect.

"LaChance said it is likely that the driver of the Chrysler, given the lack of visibility due to darkness, thought he or she had struck a dead deer or some other animal." Are you kidding me! Did this driver not have on his/her headlights. I'm in complete disbelief that anyone driving at night would not know that they had just hit person lying in the rode.
And to say there was enough evidence to ID the car. I'm no detective but this just doesn't sound right.
I pray for the family and friends of Geofrey.

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