STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. -- A Henry County officer has died after being hit by a car while helping a stranded driver.
According to Henry County Police, 53-year-old Officer Elgin L. Daniel, was assisting a stranded motorist on N. Henry Boulevard near the Star Lite Skate Center. A passing vehicle struck officer Daniel and a roadside assistance worker.
Henry County Police Sgt. Joey Smith said Daniel was a 2-year veteran of the department. He also served 26 years with DeKalb County Police before retiring as a Lieutenant.
The roadside assistance worker was identified as 58-year-old John Cook. He is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries at Atlanta Medical Center.
Police said the two men were putting gas into the stranded car, a red Mustang, when they were hit.
The driver of that Mustang told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander the oncoming car was moving like a "bolt of lightning."
"[They] were standing on the side where you put gas in, and I was standing behind it," said driver Gordon Jarrett. "Next thing I know, I seen two bodies fly through the air."
The vehicle continued driving toward Rockdale County on Highway 138 east. Authorities believe the suspect is driving a 2000 to 2007 F250 pickup truck with a standard cab, dual wheels and damage to the driver mirror and front left side.
According to Henry County Maj. Jason Bolton, the truck would likely be missing the left side-view mirror; authorities found one still at the scene.
"This officer had flashing blue lights, he was very visible along the roadway," Bolton said. "[The driver] certainly would have known after striking two individuals that he had been involved in an accident."
Bolton said the driver will likely face multiple charges, including vehicular homicide, aggravated assault and leaving the scene of an accident.
Henry County officials are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit-and-run driver.
DeKalb County Public Safety Director William Z. Miller and Interim Police Chief Lisa Gassner released a statement about Daniel's death Tuesday afternoon:
We would like to extend our condolences to the Daniel family and the Henry County Police Department on the tragic loss of Officer Elgin Daniel. Our hearts are especially heavy since Elgin served honorably on the DeKalb County Police force for 25 years before retiring as a Lieutenant in 2010. He left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of his fellow officers. He will forever be remembered as a man who always encouraged others to challenge themselves and strive to live a life of excellence.