BLACK VOICES
12/27/2017 02:59 pm ET Updated Jan 02, 2018

Ohio Teens Charged With Tossing Sandbag Off Overpass That Killed Man

"He's gone [and] he's never coming back," a relative said.

Four Ohio teenagers have been charged with murder for allegedly throwing a sandbag off an overpass that struck and killed a 22-year-old man.

Authorities say a construction sandbag was thrown over the Indiana Avenue bridge onto Interstate 75 in Toledo on Dec. 19, around 10 p.m. The bag landed on a car, crashed through the windshield and critically injured the front passenger, Marquise Byrd, of Warren, Michigan.

The driver, who was heading south on I-75, was not injured.

“God, God... he is laid out at my feet,” the driver said in a frantic 911 call. “I think this windshield might have smacked his head.”

Byrd, who sustained a serious head injury, was treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital.

“Detectives determined the falling sandbag was not an accident, but a deliberate act,” Toledo police said.

Authorities say Marquise Byrd, 22, was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a sandbag dropped from a highway overpass.
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Authorities say Marquise Byrd, 22, was a passenger in a vehicle that was struck by a sandbag dropped from a highway overpass.

Four boys, three of them 14 years old and one 13, were taken into custody not far from the overpass. On Dec. 20, they were charged with felonious assault in juvenile court.

“This is a case where the state has very strong evidence ― there were statements made by all of the juveniles involved in this case,” Lucas County Deputy Prosecutor Lori Olender told the Toledo Blade.

Byrd died on Friday, prompting the prosecutor’s office to amend the criminal complaint. The teens now face charges of murder, felony vehicular vandalism and misdemeanor vehicular vandalism.

HuffPost is not identifying the defendants because they have been charged in juvenile court. They are being held without bail at a Toledo juvenile detention center.

According to The Plain Dealer, other drivers said their vehicles were struck by objects thrown from the overpass on Dec. 19, but no other injuries were reported.

Byrd, the father of a 1-year-old boy, was reportedly engaged to be married.

“My auntie has to bury her son,” Shaveontae King, Byrd’s cousin, told the Blade. “He’s gone [and] he’s never coming back.”

King said she’d like to see the teens charged as adults ― something the district attorney’s office has reportedly indicated it does not plan to do.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article said other drivers reported their vehicles were struck by thrown objects on Dec. 20. The date was actually Dec. 19.

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