High school girl killed by alleged drunk driver

KENNESAW, GA – The Georgia community is grappling with the loss of a 16-year-old student from Cobb County, who was tragically killed by an alleged drunken driver earlier this month. Olivia Pugh, a Harrison High School student, was fatally struck when crossing a marked crosswalk with a group of friends on the night of December 8. According to Cobb County Police, they received reports of the incident that occurred on Ben King Road in Kennesaw around 8:20 pm.

The impact from the collision threw Pugh into a wooded area along the road’s shoulder. She succumbed to her injuries two days later at the Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.

The suspect, 68-year-old Jerome Cox, was traveling eastbound with his wife in a red 2017 GMC Acadia when he allegedly hit Pugh. Cox and his wife escaped the accident without injuries. He was taken into police custody and has not been granted bond yet. The charges against Cox include first-degree vehicle homicide, failure to yield to a pedestrian, DUI, and resisting a law enforcement officer.

Cox reportedly admitted to having three beers at a Christmas party. Warrants from Cobb County courts indicated he displayed signs of alcohol consumption, including “bloodshot and watery eyes” and a discernable “odor of alcohol.” Initially, he refused to provide a breath sample or undergo field sobriety tests. Later on, he also objected to having his blood drawn for forensic analysis, although authorities secured search warrants.

An online fundraising page established by Pugh’s family and an obituary posted online celebrate her for her hard work and dedication. Olivia was the Beta Club president, a member of multiple honor societies, took advanced placement courses, and worked at Chick-fil-A. She also loved traveling and had visited places like London, Paris, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Donations will be used to establish the Olivia Pugh Memorial Scholarship, intended for “a hard-working and highly motivated student at Harrison High School.”