Family of fatal hit-and-run victim seeks answers

Family of fatal hit-and-run victim seeks answers

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. -

The family of a Douglas County man killed in a hit-and-run is desperate for answers.

Police say Gary Latimer, 41, was struck by an 18-year-old driver on Fairburn Road minutes after being released from Douglasville's city jail on Sept. 14.

Authorities said Latimer had been arrested for public intoxication, however, toxicology results showed no alcohol in his system.  He was released on bond less than an hour after his arrest.

The toxicology report concluded the Villa Rica man was bipolar and schizophrenic and suffered from a mental episode the night of the accident.

Family member Christy Landers believes that Latimer would be alive today had Douglasville police handled things differently.

"I believe 100 percent that if policies and procedures would have been followed the night that [Latimer] was arrested, they would have gotten him the help that he needed," Landers said.

As family members struggle with the loss and press for answers, they are hopeful Latimer's tragic death may lead to a greater awareness of society's treatment of the mentally ill.

"People make fun of people like that and they shouldn't. You don't know what those people go through. You don't know what their families are going through," said Latimer's daughter, Kattie Manus.

Manus said her father is nothing like the person described in news reports and on social media.

"I want everybody to know that he's a good man. He wasn't a bad man. He was a very loved man," Manus said.

Latimer's daughter is expected his first grandchild in January. She said she is looking forward to sharing memories of her father with her child.

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