The teenage boys accused of killing a Michigan father who was hit in the head by a rock they allegedly tossed from an overpass had thrown other, larger objects before, it has been claimed.
Kenneth White, 32, died after being hit in the head by the rock as he was driven home from a job by his work partner last week in Mount Morris, Michigan.
Five teens have been charged with second-degree murder. They are Kyle Anger, 17, Alexander Miller, Trevor Gray, Mikaydyn Payne and Mark Sekelsky, who are all 15.
Authorities are trying the teenagers as adults.
Kenneth White (above) died last Wednesday after being hit in the head by a rock which hurled through the windscreen of a car he was the passenger in
On Thursday, police said it was not the first report they had received of items being thrown from overpasses in the area.
Weeks earlier, motorists described seeing a shopping cart and a chair being tossed from a different overpass nearby.
Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell told People on Thursday he believes it was the same group of teenagers in all three incidents.
‘In the last 30 days, there were a number of incidents on all of the (local) overpasses and one in Saginaw, which happened within the last 10 days.
‘There’s a continuing behavior. These (aren’t) pranks. They’re deliberate, intentional actions that knowingly could hurt people,’ he said.
According to police, the boys referred to the practice of throwing rocks as ‘dinging’ – so named because of the noise the large stones made when pinging off cars.
All of the boys pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on Tuesday. They all remain in juvenile custody without bond and are awaiting their next court date.
Police say the boys threw other items from the overpass above Interstate 75 in Mount Morris, Michigan (above) on other occasions
Kyle Anger, 17, of Clio, Michigan, one of five teenage suspects, is led into the courtroom for his arraignment on Tuesday
Mikadyn Payne (left), 16 and Trevor Gray (right), 15, are among five Michigan teenagers charged with second-degree murder, conspiracy and property destruction
Also charged are Alexzander Miller (left), 15, and Mark Sekelsky (right), 16, who pleaded not guilty and were denied bond
On Wednesday, White’s work partner who was driving the van recalled the moment he was struck in heartbreaking detail.
He was driving the pair home from a job when the rock hit them on I-75, around five miles from White’s home where he lived with his son and fiancee.
‘One minute you’re driving home from a day’s work, talking about the Yankees and Astros and next minute you’re trying to keep your work partner from bleeding out,’ Steve Amthor told WNEM.
He described White as a ‘good kid’ who he’d given work to as a favor to his father, his best friend.
After White was rushed to hospital, Amthor had to deliver the news that he did not know he would survive to his father by the side of the freeway where he had pulled over.
‘We were less than 5 miles from his house and next thing you know, I’m pulled over trying to keep him from bleeding out.
‘To have to talk to my best friend on the side of the highway and tell him: “I did everything I could to save your son”…’ he said, tailing off as he choked back tears.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office said the large rock that struck White smashed the windshield of the van in which he was riding (left). Another from the scene is pictured (right)
White leaves behind his fiancee, Amy Cagle, who said he was a ‘good father’ and ‘good man’
The 32-year-old handyman is pictured with his five-year-old son
Amthor called on prosecutors to ‘make an example’ out of the five teenagers who now face charges.
‘I hope that other kids can learn from this and maybe think about how their actions can damage lives,’ he said.
White’s grieving fiancée previously paid tribute to him as a ‘good man’ and ‘good father’.
‘For some senseless act, for it to be just a rock, just to take him so soon,’ Amy Cagle wept.
Of the person who threw the rock, she fumed: ‘He took away the love of my life.’
NOT THE FIRST TIME: OHIO MOM WAS INJURED WHEN TEENS DROPPED A ROCK ON HER CAR
Kenneth White’s tragic death is not the first incident of its kind.
In July 2014, Sharon Budd and her husband, Randy, were traveling on a central Pennsylvania highway when four teens participated in a dead-of-night attack on a remote stretch of Interstate 80.
One of the teens dropped the large rock from an overpass. The rock smashed through the couple’s windshield and struck Sharon in the head.
In July 2014, Sharon Budd and her husband, Randy, were traveling on a central Pennsylvania highway when four teens dropped a rock on their car. Sharon was seriously injured and Randy (both pictured in 2015) blamed himself
It did considerable damage to her skull and brain, and the Ohio teacher eventually lost her right eye.
Tragically, her husband, Randy, committed suicide in 2016 after he blamed himself for not being hurt in the accident that left his wife disabled.
Sharon, who is also a cancer survivor, had undergone seven major surgeries and would require constant care for the rest of her life.
Friends said Randy often cried at night, asking why he was spared from harm but she wasn’t.
He died in August 2016 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 55, and the couple had four children – daughter Kaylee and sons Lucas, James and Joe.
They had been married for 33 years.
Tragically, her husband, Randy, committed suicide in 2016 after blaming himself for not being hurt in the accident that left his wife disabled
He was 55, and the couple had four children – daughter Kaylee and sons Lucas, James and Joe (all pictured)