‘He hit my baby. He left him:’ Mom of 9-year-old hit by truck asks for public’s help to find driver

The mother of a 9-year-old boy hit and killed by a driver who kept going is asking for the public’s help to find the driver.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones was in Clayton County, where Latoiya Brooks is now planning a funeral for her son, Jamal Dean.

Earlier this week, they were planning for a weekend basketball tournament.

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Brooks and Jamal had just pulled into the Rosel Fann Recreation Center around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to sign Jamal up to play this weekend.

Brooks said that the moment Jamal got out of the car, was hit by a pickup truck and killed. Brooks said it happened so fast she had no time to react.

“I saw it, his headlights, but I couldn’t get out fast enough,” Brooks said. “I couldn’t save him. He hit my baby. He left him.”

Brooks ran to her son’s side, where he died in her arms.


Police are now searching for the driver, who witnesses said was in a Ford four-door pickup truck.

Brooks said many other parents were bringing their children to the rec center to register or get certified for an amateur basketball league.

Traffic was backed up in the area and a road was blocked, which further snarled traffic. Brooks said parents started to let their kids out in front of the rec center, and she asked her son if he wanted to get out of the car, too.

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He was excited about playing basketball and said that he was okay.

“He got out, and when he went to go in front of my car, a car came, I guess, from the back and went to the oncoming side and hit him,” Brooks said.

Brooks said she didn’t get a good look at the driver or the truck, but hopes someone knows who it is.

“If anybody knows anything, just please, please report it,” Brooks said. “It’s never okay to hit a child and leave them dead in the street.”

Brooks said Jamal was smart, loved sports and always had a smile on his face.