Student killed while crossing street; charges filed

Dakota Waters

Dakota Waters


Sharon Mitchell-Golden

LAWRENCEVILLE — A Berkmar High School student was killed Wednesday morning while trying to cross a busy highway on foot.

Dakota Waters, 17, was attempting to walk across Lawrenceville Highway near James Road at about 7:25 a.m. Wednesday when he was struck by a car. The junior at Berkmar High School was rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center in critical condition, but later passed away “as a result of the injuries sustained in the collision,” Ritter said.

Investigators have determined that Waters was crossing the road when a 2007 Land Rover, driven by a 49-year-old Stone Mountain resident Sharon Mitchell-Golden, entered the northbound center lane to turn onto James Road.

“The pedestrian was crossing the highway outside of a crosswalk and was standing in the center turn lane as the Land Rover entered the center lane,” Ritter said. “The driver was unable to stop and struck the pedestrian.”

Mitchell-Golden was charged with turn lane violation — defined as driving more than 300 feet in the center turn lane — and second-degree vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor. She turned herself in Thursday morning, Ritter said.

While speed and alcohol were not considered to be contributing factors, rainy and low lit weather conditions were, authorities said.

On Thursday, a makeshift cross adorned with rain-soaked teddy bears, a balloon and flowers sat near the spot where Waters was killed. The accident scene was about two miles from his home on Paden Drive.

Gwinnett County Public Schools spokesman Jorge Quintana confirmed that Wednesday was a normal school day at Berkmar, and that classes would have begun at 7:05 a.m. It was unclear why Waters was not in school when he was struck.

Police said they had no information about Waters’ “intended destination.”

Memorial arrangements are being made and will be announced by Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Lawrenceville. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.stewartfh.com.


Location of accident

Location of accident


reginapoole 2 years, 7 months ago

So sad! Praying for his family & friends!


Motor76 2 years, 7 months ago

It's amazing how many idiots misuse the turn lane and this is one sad example of what can happen. Also driving in the gore is another violation I see on a daliy basis that can result in loss of life. Prayers for the young man's family.


Sparrow 2 years, 7 months ago

I find it both disappointing and distasteful that the Gwinnett Daily Post would publish an article as callous as this one. Why, when reporting on the tragic death of a young man, must the author call into question Mr. Waters' character? He's gone. His friends and family are mourning his loss. Does his "intended destination" really matter?


aboyett 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with Sparrow!! I would assume at this time of morning and the direction he was headed from his house he was HEADED TO SCHOOL and would have missed the bus. No matter what he was a sweet kid who didn't deserve to die. He had many friends that will miss him. So very sad.

A few years back I was t-boned and lucky to have survived due to someone traveling at a high rate of speed for an extended un needed time in the turn lane. Obey traffic laws and fewer tragedies like this will happen :(


dudley4141 2 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you Sparrow, the autor Tyler Estep should never have stated this at all. Mr. Waters could have been running late for school. Prayers for this young man and the mans family.


Redramjam 2 years, 7 months ago

Just plain bad taste to publicly ponder the young Mans "intended destination". Knowing he was run down by some woman that you can bet, she was talking on the phone and digging in her purse while speeding down the center lane! ONLY TO BE CHARGED WITH A MISDEMEANOR. As for "Veryconcernedcitizen" is concerned there ARE NO CROSSWALKS OR SIDEWALKS IN THE AREA!!! As far as the photographer for the post, that cross and bear are placed where the R&B singer Natina Reed, was also struck and killed in the same area, last summer. Guess that's why the balloons are already deflated. May this young man rest in Gods arms.


DontMakeAssumption 2 years, 7 months ago

To Veryconcernedcitizen. As aboyett stated, the young man was on his way to school. He missed his bus and for whatever reason decided to walk to school. I find it very sad that you would post something so horrific that he was at fault for his own death. It was an unfortunate accident. I drive my child down that road everyday and people fly over the speed limit and recklessly not caring who they cut off. There are many people that walk that stretch of road in the dark, adults and kids. He was a very nice young man who in your eyes may not have made the right decision but none the less, his family doesn't need to see your kind of post out here. If you don't have something good to say then don't say it at all. He will be greatly missed. RIP Dakota.


jaimeh97 2 years, 7 months ago

1.he missed the bus and his dad couldnt take him so he got on his skateboard 2 he was COMING TO SCHOOL we start class at 7:O5 dakota was a smart kids ranked highest in his class so HE WAS COMING TO SCHOOL THAT DAY 3 we miss him alot people are crying left and right teacher that have him nd had him are a mess the school just put a board up this morning that kids can sign and by the end of the day it was full nd a new one is coming up DAKOTA WAS AMAZING EVERYBODY AT SCHOOL LOVED HIM he had no enemys THE PATRIOTS MISS HIM SOO MUCH R.I.P DAKOTA WATERS


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