published Friday, July 27th, 2012

Vigil honors Dogwood Valley Road crash victim

VIGIL TODAY

What: Candlelight vigil in honor of Adrian Martinez

When: Dusk today

Where: Dalton Community Center

Special: Wear white or bring a white rose or balloon

Jenrui Martinez spent 13 years with his son Adrian and "enjoyed every chance I got to spend time with him, watching him grow."

But that time is over.

On Sunday, Adrian was killed in a car wreck in which drivers of both cars have been charged with vehicular homicide and DUI.

"He was everything to me," Martinez said Wednesday. "He was a great kid, always polite to everybody."

Dean T. Butt, 23, of Crandall, Ga., and Rene Preciado, 25, of Chatsworth, Ga., were charged with first-degree vehicular homicide because police are unsure which driver was responsible for the death of Adrian, according to police. The coroner's autopsy should provide more information, according to Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Kris Hemphill. A call placed to the Catoosa County District Attorney's Office was not returned Thursday.

Butt and Preciado also are charged with weaving, reckless driving and speeding in connection with the accident. Butt, who was driving the car carrying Adrian, also has been charged with child endangerment.

Bail has been denied for both Butt and Preciado.

The accident occurred about 1:30 a.m. Sunday on Dogwood Valley Road, according to Hemphill.

"The first vehicle was traveling too fast and came around a curve, struck an embankment and flipped," he said. "The second vehicle was some distance behind, came around the corner and struck the first vehicle."

Thirteen-year-old Adrian was sitting in the back left seat in the first car. Adrian's uncle was also a passenger in the car. No one in the first vehicle was wearing a seat belt, and Butt and the other passenger had minor injuries.

"It is my understanding that they had left one party and were traveling to another party," Hemphill said.

The investigation is ongoing, he said. A preliminary investigation has been completed, but a collision reconstruction team is investigating the accident.

The family will hold a candlelight vigil at dusk today at the Dalton Community Center for Adrian, who would have been an eighth-grader at North Whitfield Middle School. They are asking all who attend to wear white or bring a white rose or balloon in memory of Adrian.

"He would have loved for everyone he knew to attend," Martinez said. "He was always happy, always wanting to be the life of the party."

Adrian will be buried at Whitfield Memorial Gardens.

about Rachel Bunn...

Rachel Bunn is originally from Ellijay, Ga., and graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in magazines and history. While at UGA, she wrote for the student magazine UGAzine, served as news editor for the student newspaper, The Red & Black, and spent a semester studying British history at Oxford University in Oxford, England. She has previously worked at The Rockdale Citizen in Conyers, Ga., and The Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the ...

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