Middle Georgia Cold Cases: Highway Hit and Run

BUTLER, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A 27-year-old man was hit and killed while walking along the highway in Butler back in 1995 and Taylor County investigators are still looking for clues.Sheriff Jeff Watson says it’s possible a driver didn’t see Shane Edwards when they hit him, but they never stopped. Deputies traced pieces from the crime scene to a 90’s model Ford truck.

It’s not hard to miss the construction happening near the Flint River Bridge.

Crews are expanding the two-lane structure. In 1995, there weren’t many cars passing over the now busy bridge.

“Back then it was a two-lane road like it is now and there’s hardly any lights. It’s very dark in that area,” Watson says.

Not a care in sight — at least Edwards thought so until he was hit.

“It looked like just a guy who had been run over and was laying in the road,” Taylor says remembering the case. “He was in a group — some kind of home over in Crawford County — like a rehabilitation home, that kind of thing. They were camping down on the Flint River which is not too far from where they were residing at the time.”

Watson worked for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at the time. He remembers the call.

“We set up several road checks during the night to try to see if we might catch that vehicle coming back through,” he says.

Investigators tried to identify the car involved and didn’t know at first whether it was a car or truck. They didn’t have very many clues, although they had one piece of evidence.

“This is basically all we got,” Watson says referring to a beaten up custom plate. “We’ve got this personalized. It was knocked off of the vehicle that hit Mr. Edwards that night.”

Investigators with the sheriff’s office, with help from the GBI and the Georgia State Patrol, also discovered pieces from the vehicle that hit Edwards.

Watson says they’ve reached out to auto body shops in the surrounding area — still nothing.

“Possible people that might know something may have passed away, moved off. Even the person that’s responsible for running over Mr. Edwards may have passed away,” Watson says.

He says people who need to walk on busy roads need to be careful.

“It’s best to stay out of the roadway, walk on the edge of the grass. You’re chances of diving in a ditch if somebody swerves are a lot better than if you’re in the road,” Watson says.

Although he wasn’t sheriff at the time, Watson still feels as though it’s his responsibility to make sure this case is solved, so Edwards’ family no longer has to wait for justice.

“That’s the thing that I think is the hardest is that Mr. Edwards’ family is out there and they need to get some closure in this case as well,” Watson says.

Shane Edwards information is still on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation ‘Unsolved Homicides’ web page. If you have any information in this case, call the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office at 478-862-5451.


Categories: Local News, Middle Georgia Cold Cases, Special Report, Taylor County

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