Man arrested for fatal hit and run with Marietta bicyclist

3:25 PM, Apr 11, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Cyclist killed in hit and run

  • Joseph Gathambiri (family photo)
  • Brother Steven Gathambiri (left) with family and church members
  • Marietta Burger King where Joseph Gathambiri worked
  • Hit and Run suspect Damon Thomas Lautch

MARIETTA, Ga. -- According to all who knew him, 25-year-old Joseph Gathambiri was full of life and befriended all he met.

Despite his hearing impairment, "Deaf Joe", as his friends called him, enjoyed using sign language to make his own rap videos.

"Even with no voice, he still, you know, he did it every day in front of his computer and it's something he loved to do, especially in his free time," his brother, Steven, told 11 Alive News on Wednesday.

Joe worked as a cook at a Marietta Burger King and was riding his bicycle to work just before 5 Wednesday morning when a hit-and-run driver killed him on South Marietta Parkway near the Cobb Community Transit bus center.

"If you hit someone and you leave them, that's horrible, that's like, you know, that's the worst thing you can ever do," his brother added.

Joe's family, who moved here from Kenya 7 years ago, were supported in their grief by friends and church members.

They were glad to hear a suspect was caught only a few hours later thanks to pieces of a black 1994 Toyota pickup were found at the scene.

"We also obtained a tip and using that tip we located a vehicle which matched that description and had damage consistent with the accident at an address in west Marietta," said police officer Michael Gardner.

Gardner said that lead them to arrest 27-year-old Damon Thomas Lautch at his job.

Lautch is charged with DUI, 1st Degree Vehicular Homicide and Hit-and-Run.

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