In a split second, 16-year-old Isaiah Dean made a decision that would cost him his life and the grandfather who raised him since he was 10 months old said he lost their “everything.”
“We raised him like he was our own,” Clyde Bruce said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And in turn, Dean called his grandparents mom and dad.
In recent years, Bruce and his wife, Connie, have dealt with serious illnesses. But they could always count on Isaiah to help and the teen would always be there when he was needed.
“I couldn’t ask for a better son. I could not do it,” Bruce said. “If I could build me another son, I’d build him just like Isaiah. He was my everything.”
The South Cobb High School sophomore died hours after being struck outside of his school Tuesday in Austell. Now family and friends are left to wonder why the teen stepped out in front of the vehicle. Still, the 60-year-old driver who struck him will likely not face any charges, according to Cobb County police.
The incident happened shortly after 9:15 a.m. Tuesday in the 4900 block of Austell Road near the west entrance and exit to the school in Austell, police said. Investigators said Bruce M. Guercio, of Acworth, was driving a white 2000 Plymouth Neon northbound on Austell Road at the same time that the teen was attempting to cross the road outside of a crosswalk.
Police said for unknown reasons the teen stepped into the path of his automobile and was struck. Dean was transported by ambulance to Wellstar Cobb Hospital and then later transferred to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce said.
Early Wednesday morning, investigators learned the teen had died from his injuries, Pierce said. Bruce believes Isaiah and a friend were leaving school long enough to walk to a nearby Rite Aid to get a drink, according to the AJC.
“I travel up and down Austell Road all the time,” Bruce said. “You constantly see kids crossing the road right there, going back and forth right there.”
There isn’t a crosswalk on that stretch of road, but Bruce said that doesn’t stop students. He speculates that Isaiah might’ve thought he could outrun the cars.
“He thought he was all that and a bucket of Oreos,” Bruce said. “I could see him racing another guy.”
Isaiah’s major organs were not seriously damaged in the crash and have been donated, along with his bone marrow and tissue, the AJC reported. The medical staff said as many as 50 people will benefit from Isaiah’s organ donations, Bruce told the paper.
“He’s going to touch a lot of people’s lives,” Bruce said.