Officer Daniel had served with the Henry County Police Department for two years after retiring as a lieutenant with 26 years of service with the DeKalb County Police Department. (ODMP photo)
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STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. (AP) — Police are urging a suspected hit-and-run driver to surrender after they say he struck and killed an officer who was helping a stranded motorist south of Atlanta.
Henry County Police officer Elgin Daniel was helping the driver on North Henry Boulevard when an Ford F-250 pickup truck slammed into him around 6:40 p.m. Monday, Henry County police Sgt. Joey Smith said. The motorist had run out of gas, police said.
The truck struck Daniel and a second motorist who had stopped to help, and then kept going east toward Rockdale County, authorities said.
"I was standing behind the car. They were standing on the side of the car. The next thing I saw, there were two bodies going through the air," Gordon Jarrett told WSB-TV.
The truck slowed down, then "they just took off," Jarrett said.
Jarrett said he was on his way to his Stockbridge apartment when his red Ford Mustang ran out of gas, coming to a stop in the center lane on North Henry Boulevard.
Daniel and the other motorist who was struck were taken to Atlanta Medical Center with serious injuries, but the officer did not survive, Smith said.
Daniel, 53, of Ellenwood, was a retired DeKalb County police lieutenant who served 26 years with that agency, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. He had worked for the Henry County department for the past two years.
The truck's front, left side is believed to be damaged and the side door mirror is missing, Georgia State Patrol officers said. The vehicle is believed to be between 1997 and 2008 model years, authorities said.
"We feel pretty confident that this individual would have known he struck two individuals and continued down the road," said Jason Bolton of the Henry County Police Department.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.