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Tow truck driver struck, killed: Homeless teen charged with molesting child

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A 45-year-old tow truck driver was struck and killed Tuesday in the emergency lane of I-20 as he was preparing to load a vehicle onto his truck in DeKalb County. And officials said charges may be pending against the 21-year-old driver who struck him.

The victim has been identified as Patrick Brownlee, of Stone Mountain, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Troopers said the incident happened shortly before 3 p.m. on I-20 westbound, just before the Glenwood Avenue exit.

They said three vehicles were involved: a broken down Pontiac Grand Prix, a Ford F-450 tow truck and a Chevrolet Silverado.

The Ford F-450 tow truck and the Pontiac were in the emergency lane when the Chevrolet, driven by William Watson, drifted into the emergency lane, GSP’s spokesman Gordy Wright said. The Chevrolet struck the truck driver who was standing outside of the vehicle preparing to load Pontiac onto the tow truck, Wright said. Brownlee was pronounced dead at the scene, Wright said.

It's unclear why the Chevrolet driver entered the emergency lane, and officials are still investigating the wreck, which led to multiple lanes being blocked for about an hour and a half, according to media report.

A 19-year-old homeless man was arrested for allegedly molesting a 12-year-old girl in Fayette County.

Zenon Rivera, who apparently stayed with the family from time to time, was charged with child molestation, the Fayette County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday.

Last Thursday, the child's mother reported that her daughter was molested, the sheriff's spokesman Lt. Ethon Harper said.

During the investigation, detectives identified Rivera as the culprit and arrested him Saturday in Richmond County, Harper said.
He was in the Richmond County jail Tuesday awaiting transport to Fayette County, Harper said.

A woman, 31-year-old Brandi Black, was also arrested in the incident, officials said. She was charged with hindering apprehension of a fugitive after she allegedly transported Rivera to Augutst, Harper said.

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