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14-year-old hit by Henry police car dies from injuries

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Updated: 4/28/2013 4:55 pm
HENRY COUNTY, Ga. (WSB) -- A 14-year-old boy who was hit by a Henry County police car  has died from his injuries, according to the Henry County Coroner's Office.

Chandler Weems died in Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston around 9:30 a.m., the coroner said.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the incident that happened at about 12:30 p.m. at North Ola and Turner Church roads.

A GSP spokesperson said a Henry County patrol car being driven by Denise Allyson Romano, 35, was traveling north on North Ola Road when a westbound bicyclist, identified as Weems, entered her travel lane from a driveway.

Weems, who authorities said is a resident of McDonough, was air-lifted to Children’s at Egleston. A friend of Weems' family told Channel 2's Ashley Swann on Saturday the boy had serious head trauma and hadn't regained consciousness since the accident.

"Just put prayers out for Chandler," neighbor Chris Popp said after the accident. "That's the biggest thing."

Popp's stepson, Bryce Hatmaker, was with Weems when he said the teen rode his bike into the path of the patrol car.

"When he saw the car, he tried to stop. But it was too late," Bryce said.

"I just heard a noise, a bang. Some screaming and yelling," neighbor Wes Cook said.

Neighbors said they rushed to the road and found the officer Ramano, frantically trying to help the teen.

"She was the first person there and she was helping trying to get him to breathe," Popp said.

The Georgia State Patrol is investigating, but neighbors believe it was nothing more than a tragic accident.

"It's kind of a blind spot," said Popp. "You don't expect a bike to come out of the driveway so fast like that. I don't have any blame for her at all, none whatsoever.

Henry County police issued the following statement in part Sunday afternoon:
"On behalf of the Henry County Police Department and Police Chief Nichols, we express our sadness and sympathy to the family for their loss. Our officer is on leave at this time and unavailable for comment."

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