The morning of June 11th started off like many others. I was trying to get various things done in the house including a few writing projects. It was a little past lunchtime, and I was feeling accomplished since I had already marked several things off my list, and then....my cell phone rang.
I glanced at it and saw it was the Mister calling.
There was nothing unusual about the call since we often exchange texts, Facebook messages or calls during the day as most married people do, but this was going to be one of those life-changing calls.
I just didn't know it.
I answered and the Mister didn't say anything for a second or two, but the minute he did I knew something was wrong.
"Where.....where are you?"
I was taken aback by that question and instantly bristled a little. I snapped, "Well, I'm at home. I'm up in the middle of the bed trying to get some writing done. Why?"
As the Mister answered me and continued to talk I could hear the fear and concern in his voice. He said, "I just had to know where you were......"
"What's wrong?" At this point my mind was racing. Were we under a terror attack, had one of our parents passed, was one of our children hurt? Oh no.....the kids.
"Sam's been in a wreck. We don't know anything yet." I could hear loud voices and crying in the background at the Mister's office.
Sam was Samantha Kirby. She was the wife of the Mister's business partner, Blaine Kirby. She was a very lovely and vibrant woman. Sam's day had started normally that morning just like mine. She conversed with her husband before he went to work, dressed, did a little around the house, and then made plans to meet her son for lunch.
Sam did her normal everyday activities.
She didn't know it was her last day of life.
She never made that lunch, and when her son waited and she didn't show and she didn't answer her phone, he went looking for her.
Yes, sadly he found the accident scene.......and the long nightmare for the Kirby family had begun.
At the time the Mister called me everyone was still hoping that Sam was being extricated from the car and would be rushed to the hospital, but there was no need to rush.
Our Sam was gone.....
Last night Channel 46 here in Atlanta aired a story titled "Tough Questions After Hampton Councilman Kills Woman in Crash". You can see it at this link.
Many thanks to Wendy Salzman for airing what is so obviously a flawed accident investigation and flawed presentment to the grand jury with lots of different ties to Hampton City government and the government of Henry County as well.
Here it is November....five months after the horrible accident and the person responsible has not been issued a single ticket or been required to pay a dime of any fine.
Please click through to see the video, but parts of the text story state:
Hampton City Councilman Harold Walls was driving a dump truck that hadn't been properly inspected in years at the time of the accident on June 11. When his brakes malfunctioned, he collided with another car and killed Samantha Kirby.
The article continues....
Records obtained by CBS Atlanta News showed that Walls' commercial truck hadn't been properly inspected in accordance with motor carrier safety regulations since 2003. A Georgia State Patrol inspection after the accident found the truck had multiple deficiencies, including the brakes being out of service.
.....In a legal response, Walls admitted he was the only person who inspected the truck over the last five years, which means the government inspection sticker on the dump truck is fake.
Walls uses the truck for his business, D & J Hauling. The business has no business license and hasn't had one for three years.
The article also states Walls walked away from the scene without taking a drug or alcohol test and without a single citation. The first responder to the accident was the Henry County Fire Department where Walls retired as an EMT in 2010.
While this matter was presented to a grand jury, there are too many details here that beg for further investigation including HOW THE MATTER WAS INVESTIGATED BY AUTHORITIES.
The Kirby family screams for it....her friends scream for it....and any citizen of Henry County and Georgia should scream for it.
Something is very, very wrong in Henry County!!!!!
The Hampton mayor and councilmember information can be found here.
.....and yes, you can find Mr. Walls' number and e-mail address there, too since he is councilmember.
Henry County Commission information can be found here.
I understand that Henry County has a new District Attorney. Perhaps he needs to know that he has a case that requires another look regarding favoritism, perhaps he needs to know there is a business owner in his jurisdiction thumbing his nose at laws regarding licensing and commercial vehicle inspections.
The Henry County District Attorney's number is 770.288.6400.
The evidence in this case was presented to a grand jury, who dismissed the charges. That leaves Walls free to drive a commercial vehicle.