This is a senseless tragedy that should never have happened. Five teenagers somehow thought it would be a cool prank to drop rocks off an overpass. It’s all fun and games until someone gets killed. Jim Schultz was the first driver to see large rocks drop in front of his car on the interstate. He survived… the rocks only took out his oil pan. The car behind him wasn’t so fortunate.
Kenneth Andrew White was heading home from work in a van as the passenger. He was just ten minutes from home. The rock came in through the windshield and hit him in the head. They rushed Kenneth to the Hurley Medical Center, but he died from his injuries. They couldn’t save him. He has four children he leaves behind and a grieving widow. Kenneth was just 32 years-old.
Five teenagers stood on an overpass and decided to ‘prank’ drivers traveling below. They were trying to hit vehicles and they certainly accomplished that. And in the process, they took a loving father from his children and wife forever. The incident happened off of Dodge Road overpass in Vienna Township, which is about 16 miles from Flint, Michigan. What kind of thuggish punks do something like this? Anyone with two brain cells would know that this could happen and likely would. Did they think they wouldn’t get caught? Wrong.
Investigators believe that the teens pre-planned the prank and brought the rocks with them. They were fully cognizant of what they were doing. They probably didn’t think it far enough through to figure they would kill someone, but they were going for hurting people. Jim Schultz, the first driver to encounter the rocks, could only say that he was ‘thankful to be safe’ and that White’s family was in his prayers.
The five teenagers have been charged with second-degree murder after being accused of throwing a rock off an overpass that killed Kenneth, according to the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office. The rock that took his life weighed six pounds. White was struck in the face and head, and the rock ricocheted to his chest, causing him to lose consciousness, according to Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell. The driver of the van had to pass four other vehicles that were on the side of the road and disabled by rocks thrown at them. He then pulled over to get help for his friend, but it was too late.
The county prosecutor announced on Monday that the teens, ages 15-17, are all being charged as adults with one count of second-degree murder each. They are also being charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six felony counts each of malicious destruction of property and two other lesser charges. “It’s not a prank, it’s second-degree murder,” said Pickell. “I don’t think anybody is laughing and I think that if there’s any warning that both David and I can give, is telling young people, you make a bad decision, you could be spending the rest of your life in prison.”
Police are reporting that the gang threw a tire and about 20 rocks, one weighing 20 pounds, off two overpasses that night, damaging several vehicles. After throwing the rock that killed White, the teens left the overpass and went to a McDonald’s to eat. That’s cold. “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 that is creating a high risk of great bodily harm, or in this case, death,” said Leyton. All five teenagers will be formally arraigned today.
“At the end of the day nobody wins. The young people are charged criminally, a young boy lost his father and all of the families are left grieving,” said Pickell. I have no sympathy for these animals. They should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and locked away forever over this. It was murder for fun. Now, they will face the consequences of their monstrous behavior.