Police in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia have charged two people with attempting to conceal a March 21 fatal hit-and-run in Athens in which a University of Georgia student was killed.
The driver, 28-year-old Vikerria Steward, had already been arrested in connection with the crash that killed 21-year-old Knox Whiten of Toccoa.
Athens-Clarke County police spokesman Lt. Shaun Barnett said the victim was walking close to the intersection of the Athens Perimeter and Chase Street when a vehicle struck him. Police believed he may have been walking in the road when the accident occurred.
Vikerria’s mother, 57-year-old Sophia Harris Steward, and her stepfather, 47-year-old Roderick Dejuan Marble, have now been charged with second-degree arson and felony tampering with evidence. Sophia is facing a separate charge of falsely reporting a crime.
Vikerria was arrested on March 31 and charged with hit-and-run resulting in serious injury or death, first-degree homicide by vehicle, driving with a suspended license, and false report of a crime.
Initial investigations revealed that she left the scene of the fatal hit-and-run in Athens and reported her car stolen.
Her mother and stepfather have been accused of trying to hide Vikerria’s actions.
Athens police Chief Cleveland Spruill said such cases were among the most difficult to solve and the arrests reflected the experience, training, and skills of the department’s traffic unit.
Vikerria’s mother and stepfather were booked into Athens-Clarke County Jail without bond. Police in Jackson County charged them with arson while the tampering and false reporting charges were brought in Clarke County.
Meanwhile, Vikerria was first arrested in Clayton County and she is being held without bond in jail there.
Police said no further arrests were expected.
If you lost a loved one in a car crash, you should reach out to a Georgia car accident lawyer for advice and representation. You may be entitled to compensation.