A Lithonia man pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegedly killing a Cobb County school crossing guard, said Kim Isaza, spokeswoman for the county district attorney’s office.
Lamonte Whitaker was 38 years old the morning of Nov. 30 when police say he fatally struck Edna Umeh with his car outside Lindley Middle School in Mableton.
He faces a felony vehicular homicide charge.
As has been reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police and a witness said Whitaker swerved around stopped traffic and into the center turn lane, which is where he struck 64-year-old Umeh. He was driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit in the center turn lane in the school zone, according to an arrest warrant.
Students saw Umeh get hit.
BREAKING: Accused reckless driver who allegedly hit and killed @CobbSchools crossing guard Edna Umeh pleads NOT GUILTY. Lamonte Whitaker spoke once, saying "yes" to the judge's question. @wsbtv pic.twitter.com/oHZrIQgNqN— Chris Jose (@ChrisJoseWSB) March 1, 2018
Her family began a push to improve road safety, and shortly after the county announced a “corridor safety audit” in the area of the school on Veterans Memorial Highway. It’s a school zone, but there are no lights or crosswalks at the school entrance.
Gov. Deal. ordered flags be lowered to half-staff for Umeh.
Whitaker was set to be back in court Friday for a motions hearing, according to the Cobb superior court website.