CLEVELAND, Ga. - Everyone who knew little Easton Cain remembers the 3-year-old boy fondly, which makes standing at the young boy’s makeshift memorial hard to comprehend and even harder to bear.
“He was always smiling, laughing and cutting up. Just a happy kid with a wonderful personality,” said Selena Black, whose daughter attended daycare with Easton Cain. “The tears just fall when you're driving by here, because you see it right there.”
Flowers, balloons and teddy bears mark the spot in this Cleveland grocery store parking lot where little Cain was pinned between two cars Tuesday. Georgia State Troopers said 36-year-old James Holcomb was parked in his car under the influence of drugs when he suddenly hit the gas and slammed his vehicle into Easton, who was standing within arm’s reach of his mother.
“It’s just devastating, heartbreaking, a tragedy that should've never happened,” said Black.
Witnesses told FOX 5 News that Holcomb was dazed and confused as the boy’s loved ones wept and strangers tried to help move Holcomb’s vehicle to free the boy.
“He was sitting there on the ground with his arms wrapped around his knees, just rocking. He didn’t even know he had hit the child at first,” said Gloria Anthony, a friend of Cain’s grandmother.
White County Sheriff Neal Walden said his deputies have arrested Holcomb several times over the years. Jail records date back to 2001 for arrests on DUI, drug possession and numerous traffic and probation violations. That’s why the sheriff recommended the judge deny bond for Holcomb Thursday morning.
“We just felt, based on the impact this case is having on the community, that it was best for both families if this man remained in custody. This is hard for everyone in a close knit community like this, but we're just going to love on each other and get through this. As a grandparent, it just leaves a hole in your heart,” said Sheriff Walden
Holcomb has been charged with DUI, first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving and no insurance.