A 16-year-old Monticello girl is dead and her 18-year-old boyfriend has been charged with manslaughter after a tragic accident Sunday at the Stanton Springs Technology Park construction site.
Kerri Mincy, 16, of Monticello, was reportedly crushed by a front-end loader when the vehicle flipped onto its side. The heavy construction vehicle was driven by her boyfriend Kyle Blake Holland, 18, of Social Circle.
Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Watterson said Mincy; Holland; Cody Lee Smith, 17, of Covington; Tony Joe Burnett, 19, of Monticello; and Jeffrey Cantrell, 18, of Newborn were all trespassing on the construction site, which is located off U.S. Highway 278.
"They have had problems in the past with people trespassing on the property," Watterson said. "We had to go out a couple of weeks ago and write up people riding four-wheelers on the site."
The teenagers reportedly drove onto the property around 5 p.m. Sunday after moving the "Road Closed" sign blocking their path, Watterson said.
"It appears they brought their own keys to the vehicles," Watterson said.
The teenagers reportedly first took a joyride in a Komatsu dump truck and a Caterpillar road grader before getting the equipment bogged down in the mud, Watterson said.
Mincy and Holland then moved on to the Kawasaki front loader. Watterson said Holland was driving the vehicle when it slipped down an embankment. Holland reportedly attempted to correct the machine by turning left, but the damage was already done and the vehicle flipped onto its right side. Mincy reportedly jumped off the machine as it fell, but she was unable to escape its decent and was crushed.
Deputies arrived on the scene at approximately 5:30 p.m., responding to the 911 call, but Mincy was found deceased.
Watterson said Joint Development Authority was planning to review the security around the construction site. He suspects this was not the first time the teenagers had trespassed on the property.
The Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team was called in to help with the investigation.
Holland was charged with involuntary manslaughter, felony theft by taking and trespassing. Smith, Burnett and Cantrell were all charged with felony theft by taking and trespassing. They were all released on bond.