Reginald Hubbert came home to Riceboro during his Christmas break from art school in San Francisco. Around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 14, Hubbert was walking on the shoulder of Briar Bay Road when he was struck from behind by a Toyota Camry, allegedly driven by Henry James, also of Riceboro. More than three weeks later, Hubbert still is not out of the woods.
On Feb. 5, Hubbert’s mother, Wendy Richardson, said her son had just undergone his fourth surgery since the accident. The vehicle impact knocked him 34 feet into a drainage ditch filled with water, she said. According to the report filed by Georgia State Trooper Quincy Melvin, the driver was charged with failure to maintain a lane and hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident. James reportedly turned himself in the following day.
“My son is an inspiring actor,” Richardson said. “He was going to school to learn to be a producer. He wanted to do something with his life. ... He was getting ready to go back to school. That night, he was walking over to some friends’ house.”
Richardson said her son’s injuries are serious, some even life-threatening. She said that she’s very angry that James is not facing more charges.
Melvin’s report noted that James admitted he had had a “drink or two” the night before. However, he could not be charged with driving under the influence because he was not intoxicated the next day, Melvin said. The report also noted, however, that James’ vehicle traveled 35 feet on the shoulder of the road before it struck Hubbert. Melvin’s report said the driver told a Liberty County Sheriff’s Office representative on Jan. 15 that he had hit something with his car the previous night. He said he got out and looked around but didn’t see anything.
“A witness (Darlen Ward) who lives near the scene, heard someone yelling for help,” Melvin said. “She came outside.”
Richardson said her son had been lying in that ditch for nearly an hour by the time he was found. She said a passenger in James’ car, Jerome Brown, talked with her about the incident, but she can’t say anything until the trial. Melvin said he gave James a trial date of March 4 when he issued him a ticket.
Richardson said it’s difficult for her because she has to drive by James’ house on her way to work. Seeing James’ Camry in the driveway with major damage to the passenger-side body and windshield, she can’t help but think about her son being hit then left in a ditch.
“My son is a human being, not some animal you can run over and leave on the side of the road,” she said. “I just think (James) is getting away with ruining Reggie’s life and nearly killing him.”