A rock thrown from an overpass killed a father. Now 5 teens are charged with murder.
Kenneth Andrew White was riding in the passenger seat of a van on Interstate 75 outside Flint, Michigan, last Wednesday when a six-pound rock sliced through the windshield, striking him in the chest and head, police said. The 32-year-old construction worker was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"He was a good man and a good father," Amiee Cagle told news station WDIV Local 4. "For some senseless act, for it to be just a rock, just to take him so soon."
She said the "stupid act" took away the father of their 5-year-old son and the "love of my life."
Five teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder in connection with White's death, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton, announced Monday, according to the Associated Press. They are scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, NBC25 reported.
"It's not a prank," Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told WDIV Local 4. "I don't think anybody's laughing. You make a bad decision, you could be spending the rest of your life in prison."
The teens, all between ages 15 and 17, will be tried as adults and could face up to life in prison. Investigators said that immediately after the rock-throwing incident, they left the overpass and drove to a nearby McDonald's for food. After local authorities sought help from the public to track down the rock-throwers, one of the teens turned himself in at the county jail. The others were arrested.
In addition to the second-degree murder charges, the teens are being charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and malicious destruction of property, according to WDIV Local 4. The teens are: Kyle Anger, 17; Mark Sekelsky, 16; Mikadyn Payne, 16; Trevor Gray, 15; and Alexander Miller, 15, all from Clio, Michigan.
Police said about 20 rocks were thrown from the overpasses, as well as a tire. The cars below were driving at roughly 70 miles per hour.
Investigators said four other cars were also struck by rocks and had pulled over to wait for the police. After White was hit, his friend had to maneuver around other cars that had been damaged from the rocks before he could pull over himself and help White, according to CNN.
White, who lived in Mount Morris Township, enjoyed sports, video games and the outdoors, according to an obituary, which said he was born in nearby Flint but lived in South Carolina for most of his life.
White's sister, Alicia Waskoski, told WDIV Local 4 that she couldn't understand "what a person could be thinking to even want to do something like that."
In May, a woman driving outside Detroit was critically injured after a concrete chunk the size of a football became dislodged from an interstate highway and flew through her windshield, according to the Detroit Free Press. But the incident that took White's life was no accident, authorities said.
"To propel the size of boulder down from the Dodge Road overpass to a 70 mph vehicle that's headed southbound, you ought to know - a reasonable person would know - that is creating a high risk of great bodily harm, or in this case, death," said David Leyton, the county prosecutor, according to ABC12.
Pickell said this was a case in which "nobody wins."
"The young people are charged criminally, a young boy lost his father and all of the families are left grieving," he said.
After the arrests, White's fiancee Cagle told ABC12 that she hoped the teenagers realize what they had done, "how many lives they torn apart, and know that what they did was wrong."