ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Niani Gibson, 26, died one day after she was involved in an ATV crash in Atlanta, and her family is looking for the driver they say left her for dead.
On Monday afternoon, Ericka Gibson visited the roadside memorial dedicated to her daughter at the corner of Metropolitan Parkway and St. Johns Avenue. Close friends were there to support her. “That’s my only baby. That’s my only child,” she tearfully said.READ MORE: Child Tax Credit: How Much Will Your Monthly Check Be?
Atlanta police said in a preliminary report the ATV crashed into a car that was making a left turn onto St. Johns Avenue on May 16, 2021. They confirmed Niani was thrown from the ATV and the person driving it left the scene. “He got off of the ATV and got on another one and left my baby in the street,” Gibson said. “We don’t know where he is, so we need you to turn yourself in,” said Gibson’s friend Keona Jones, in hopes the potential suspect will hear the message. Jones said the driver of the 2017 Chevy Malibu that was hit by the ATV stayed at the scene and cooperated with authorities. Police say that driver had a green light as she was making the turn.
Gibson said the date of the ATV crash also hits home in a profound way. “My mama died May 16. They hit [Niani] on the anniversary of my mama’s death,” she said, referring to Niani’s grandmother Dorothy Height, who died on May 16, 2016.READ MORE: DeKalb’s Tenant-Landlord Assistance Coalition To Reopen Applications After Cyberattack
Niani died the day after the crash at a hospital on May 17, 2021, the day after the crash, leaving behind her four-year-old son, Carter. She was a 2013 Riverwood International Charter School graduate with a big heart and was full of life, according to family and friends. “She was an avid dancer and avid singer,” Jones said. Yet, her life, just like her dad’s, was taken way too soon. Someone murdered her father, Damon Gerard Brown, when she was just a year old. It happened in 1996, when the Olympics were held in Atlanta. The killer was never found.
Gibson said Niani’s faith in God keeps her family going. “She had strong faith and relationship,” she said. They want the driver held responsible, and they are pleading with the public to come forward with any information. They also issued a pleas directly to the ATV driver. “Young man, I know you might be scared. Please do what’s right,” said Gibson. “Turn yourself in today, so that this mother can have closure,” Jones said. Another friend, Dr. Joycelyn Fowler, said ATV accidents like this happen all too often and said steps should be taken to prevent them. “I challenge our legislators and our lawmakers to really consider creating a law to govern ATVs in Atlanta,” Fowler said.MORE NEWS: APD Reports Two Shootings Overnight
Police say they are investigation the case.