Covington Driver Released after Fatal Pedestrian Accident
Even as the family of 6-year-old Suk Maya Monger was holding a memorial service for the refugee girl who was struck and killed in a pedestrian accident, the motorist who struck her has been released from the DeKalb County Jail.
Suk Maya was killed last week. She and her mother had just got off a MARTA bus, and had walked round in front of the bus to cross the street. As they stepped into an open lane, motorist Gregory Armwood stuck the mother and daughter pair. According to police, he had just passed a stopped car and a MARTA bus. Suk Maya suffered serious head and internal injuries. She died on Wednesday. That day, tragically enough, was to have been her first day at a local Atlanta elementary school.
The girl had been in the country for just 12 days. Her family had traveled to the US under a federal refugee program for people from countries where they face persecution. The Mongers had come from Bhutan where they faced ethnic cleansing. Suk Maya herself was born in a refuge camp in Nepal where her family lived for 10 years. There was no access to schools, and they survived on relief, along with about 200,000 Nepalese refugees.At the time of the accident, the family was still applying for social security numbers. Obviously, they have little money, and this is an unimaginably tragic time for them.
According to a Clarkston police officer who witnessed the accident, Armwood passed a vehicle and then a bus. State records show that this man has racked up several traffic offenses over the past 17 years, including drunk driving, running stop signs and speeding. In 2003, he was convicted in DeKalb County for driving at 75mph in a 55mph zone.
Armwood seems to have a history of disobeying traffic rules. Unfortunately a 6-year-old girl, who came into this country looking for a better life, has paid the price. This was a man who, with his record history of traffic violations, should not have found it that easy to drive a car and mow down an innocent girl.We hope this time round, Armwood is prosecuted vigorously to prevent him from getting back on the streets where he could be a danger to others like little Suk Maya.