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Statesboro fatality has ties to Liberty
GSP attributes no fault to driver
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No charges have been filed in the accident last week that took the lives of a Statesboro grandmother and her 3-year-old grandson.
Both people in the vehicle that struck the victims have ties to Liberty County.
Tara Patel, 58, was killed when she was struck by a passing pickup as she tried to save her grandson, Aarayan Patel, after he darted into traffic on Highway 301 South near A to Z Truck Stop, said Georgia State Patrol Trooper First-Class J. Hodges. Tara Patel's address was listed as North Main Street in Statesboro.
Becky Wells Carter of Gum Branch (an earlier report said she was from Glennville) was driving southbound on 301 around 8:40 p.m. Jan. 28 when the accident occurred, Hodges said. Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden, 52, was a passenger in the vehicle, GSP Capt. Kirk McGlamery said. Carter is a native of Liberty County. Durden's jurisdiction covers six counties, including Liberty, Long and Bryan County.
Tara Patel, Aarayan Patel and the child's mother were in the center lane of the busy five-lane road, trying to cross the road to reach A to Z Truck Stop, when the child ran from the adults into Carter's path, he said.
Speed was not a factor, and while the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is still investigating the accident, no charges were filed, Hodges said.
He also explained the delay in releasing details of the accident, which included difficulty in interviewing witnesses, including the toddler's mother. Translators were required for interviews, he said. That, added to other investigation efforts, contributed to delays in releasing information, including the identities of victims and witnesses.
Spencer Dutton was inside A to Z Truck Stop when the accident occurred, and said two small children, whose father worked in the store, came running in to tell their father about the accident.
"They were speaking in a different language, and Sam (the store clerk) went running out," she said. Dutton followed, and saw a woman in the middle lane of the highway holding the 3-year-old, and the other victim lying in the center lane several yards away from where the collision occurred, she said.
Durden was in court Wednesday and could not be reached for comment then. Thursday morning he declined comment, saying it would be in appropriate to comment, since he GSP was still investigating.

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