A young father is dead after four teens threw a sandbag off an overpass that landed on the passenger side of a passing vehicle. The man riding in that vehicle was struck in the head and was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly thereafter. The four teens, ages 13 to 15, were initially charged as juveniles, but the victim’s family is demanding that the teens be charged as adults.
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Marquise Byrd, 22, was heading down an Ohio interstate on Dec. 19 when the sandbag struck him. Authorities estimate the vehicle that Byrd was in was traveling about 70 MPH when the sandbag made contact with the vehicle.
The driver of the vehicle was reported to have suffered only minor injuries as the sandbag landed on the passenger side of the car. The coroner indicated that Bryd died from blunt-force trauma to the head and neck area.
According to CBS News, the four teen boys were charged with felonious assault before an additional charge of murder was added. The boys were located near the scene of the crime by officers after a 911 was received from the driver.
In the 911 call the driver of the vehicle can be heard frantically calling for help. “I don’t know what happened! My friend, I don’t know what happened, he’s not moving!” she told the dispatcher. “Something hit my car. And hit my friend. And he is not moving!”
The dispatcher asked a few questions to better gauge the situation. “OK, you don’t know what hit him?” the dispatcher asked the female driver who was apparently Bryd’s friend.
“No, my windshield is, like, smashed up. … He is laid out on my seat. I think the windshield might have smacked his head,” the women is heard saying in between heavy breaths.
The Daily Mail reported that Byrd’s family has demanded the teens be tried as adults. “I would appreciate if [the boys’ parents] could at least call my auntie and tell her they’re sorry,” a family member told The Toledo Blade.
The family member went on to say that Byrd was like a brother to her and that he was “young, energetic, outgoing, lovable. He had a bright smile.”
At this time, prosecutors have stated that there are currently no plans to transfer the case to an adult jurisdiction.