Gwinnett County police would like to speak with anyone who knows how R&B singer Natina Reed ended up on a dark stretch of highway before she was struck and killed by a passing motor vehicle late Friday night. Reed was 32.
Police are awaiting the results of toxicology reports to determine if Reed was impaired by alcohol or drugs as she walked along well-travelled Lawrenceville highway. Ironically, Reed may have been on foot because her driver's license was revoked following recent DUI convictions.
Gwinnett police received a call around 10:30 p.m. Friday that a woman had been struck by a red Honda Accord on Lawrenceville Highway (U.S. 29) near Hamilton Road, just north of Lilburn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Early reports suggested that the former Blaque group member was the unfortunate victim of a hit-and-run as she walked home from a store. But those reports were proven false by police who say the driver and his passenger stopped, called 911 to report the accident and rendered aid to Reed as her broken body lay in the roadway. Reed was later pronounced dead at Gwinnett Medical Center.
Police also doubt the theory that Reed was returning home from a store. “It’s kind of a dark lit area,” police spokesman Sgt. Rich Long told the AJC. “There is not really anything in that area that's open at that time of night, that would be any kind of a draw to a person up there,” he said.
Police theorize that Reed may have been dropped off by someone in the area near where she was struck.
“Anyone who might have information about anything that could help us determine why she was there, anything to help us understand how this came together,” said police spokesman Sgt. Rich Long, who added: "As of right now, it does not appear that the driver has any fault in this event."
Reed had a history of alcohol and substance abuse dating back to her days as a member of the popular R&B group Blaque. Reed was arrested in DeKalb County on April 13 and charged with violating the open container laws and disorderly conduct. She was released the next day on a $420 bond.
She was arrested again on June 29, 2011 in Dunwoody, a suburb West of Atlanta. She was charged with DUI and driving with a revoked license and released two days later on $2,230 bond.
Reed's former band members expressed their sorrow on Twitter.com and Facebook Saturday.
Shamari Fears-DeVoe (pictured center), who is married to Ronald DeVoe of New Edition, tweeted, “My world as I know it has forever changed. Until we meet again, may you find comfort in the arms of an angel. I love you Natina.”
And band member Brandi Williams (pictured right) tweeted, “Last night the world was changed forever, life will never be the same….she was my sister.”
Reed was a cousin of the late TLC singer Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who also died in a car accident in Honduras on April 25, 2002 at age 30. Reed is survived by a 10-year-old son, Tren Brown, by her former husband, rapper Kurrupt.
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