Homeless man struck, killed by car

LAWRENCEVILLE - A homeless man was struck and killed by a car on Monday night while crossing Buford Drive near Ga. Highway 316.

Authorities said a high-school-age boy driving a gray Honda Civic hatchback northbound on Buford Drive (Ga. Highway 20) about 9:15 p.m. struck the man. The man was apparently crossing the four-lane road with center turn lane in a dark area after sunset, and may have been difficult to see.

The names of the victim and the driver were not immediately available.

After the accident, witnesses in the parking lot of a QuikTrip gas station across the street notified several deputies who were inside the convenience store. The deputies responded almost instantly, said Officer S. Gaines.

"There were no signs of life," Gaines said.

A bystander, Bryan Smith, said he recognized the homeless man from a Waffle House that he frequents almost daily on Buford Drive. Smith said the man came into the restaurant on a regular basis to get a drink and bum cigarettes off customers.

"I'll give him a pack of cigarettes sometimes or buy him something to eat," Smith said. "He's a real nice guy. He's been homeless for years."

Other witnesses said the man was about 50 or 60 years old with a long, scraggly beard. He reportedly lived in a tent in a wooded area nearby and wore a camouflage jacket almost all the time.

"He was always crossing the street," Smith said. "Very dangerous."

Officers with the Lawrenceville Police Accident Investigation Unit were still on the scene gathering evidence at press time Monday, and Buford Highway northbound was closed at Ga. 316.