Police find car suspected in hit-and-run

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville teenager died and a second teen was taken to the hospital Wednesday night after a hit-and-run accident on Buford Drive in Lawrenceville.

Jacob Palleta, 17, of Lawrenceville and 17-year-old Walter Lester of Suwanee were on a single-seat bicycle traveling north on Buford Drive when a driver's 1997 Mitsubishi Eclipse collided with the teens' bicycle.

Gwinnett County Police Department spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney said Palleta was pronounced dead at the scene and Lester was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

"The driver (of the bicycle) suffered several broken bones," he said.

Moloney said Lester was seated, operating the bicycle and Palleta was standing on pegs at the rear of the bike when the driver hit the two from behind.

Moloney said investigators are looking for the driver who fled the scene after the accident.

The vehicle believed to be involved in the crash was located on Le Mesa Drive near Los Alamos Place - a dead-end road located inside a subdivision near the scene of the accident.

Moloney said police were able to locate the vehicle when a resident of a home nearby noticed the abandoned, damaged car. He said the person called 911 when they noticed a suspicious vehicle parked in their neighborhood.

Moloney said the green Eclipse showed damage consistent with having been in an accident.

"There was front-end damage to the hood, the side panel and the passenger's windshield," Moloney said.

As of press time Thursday Moloney said the driver had not been located.

Anyone with information about the accident is asked to call the Gwinnett County Police Department Accident Investigation Unit Hotline at 770-513-5048.