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Child dies after being hit by car | News

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Child dies after being hit by car

LOCUST GROVE, Ga. -- The Henry County community is rallying around the family of an 11-year-old boy who died after being hit by a car Thursday morning. 

Thomas Conor Burch was the son of a Henry County Police Captain, a 20-year veteran of the department. He was struck by an oncoming car driven by 57-year-old Claudia Inez McGahee as he ran to catch his school bus.

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The accident happened at around 7:45 a.m. on L G Griffin Road in Locust Grove. The investigation is still underway, but early reports said Conor missed his bus and then tried to run across the road to catch it as it passed his house again. 

Police said Burch was airlifted to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where he passed away at about 11:40 a.m.

Burch attended Locust Grove Middle School. Henry County Schools released a statement about Burch's death Thursday afternoon:

Henry County Schools has been informed by authorities that one of our Locust Grove Middle School students died today as a result of being struck by a private vehicle while walking to the school bus this morning. Our thoughts and concerns are with the family of this student as well as the entire school community. Grief counselors will be available at the school for any student or staff member wishing to speak with someone. We ask that everyone keep this family in your thoughts.

Thursday night, friends and family gathered for a memorial at the baseball field where Burch played.

"He's just a very awesome friend," Bryce Coleman said through tears.  "My mom said God doesn't make any mistakes, and he's in heaven right now." 

"People were picking on me and he told them to stop," Summer Lee said of the first time she met her friend.  "He was really sweet about it. I didn't even know him at the time."

Because the victim was the son of a police captain, the Georgia State Patrol is investigating the accident.  They are still interviewing witnesses to determine whether the school bus had its lights and stop arm engaged.