RUSSELL COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) — A Fort Benning soldier faces a reckless murder charge after investigators say he made the 5-year-old son of his live-in girlfriend get out of a vehicle because he was “being unruly,” leading to the boy being struck by another vehicle on a busy highway on a dark, rainy night.
Russell County Sheriff’s investigators said the fatal crash happened Sunday about 8 p.m. along Highway 165 near County Road 24.
According to investigators, 35-year-old Bryan Starr told detectives the child was being unruly in the vehicle, so he pulled over in the rain at a church and told the boy to get out. Starr told investigators he lost track of the boy in the rain. Investigators say the boy wandered onto the busy highway and was struck by another vehicle. The 5-year-old died later at Piedmont Columbus Regional.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor said the driver of the vehicle that hit the child was not at fault. Taylor said the boy’s mother was not in the vehicle at the time of the fatal incident.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports Starr is the longtime boyfriend of the boy’s 33-year-old mother, and the two share a home in Fort Mitchell, about two miles from where the boy was hit, Sheriff Taylor said.