Mother devastated after losing 15-year-old son in hit-and-run

DeKalb County police are asking the public to help them find a driver involved in a deadly hit and run early Wednesday morning.

Officials say the hit and run accident happened around 2 a.m. on Flat Shoals Parkway near Wellington Court.

"I don’t really have words. I just have pain," Malaika Kulenga said. 

Standing in the spot where her son took his last breath, Malaika Kulenga held on to family and friends for strength. 

mural for 15-year-old Quartez Mender

A mural for 15-year-old Quartez Mender on Flat Shoals Road. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

"That’s not a call you want to wake up to. That’s not a call you want because I answered that call," Kulenga said. 

Investigators believe the 15-year-old victim, Quartez Mender, was walking near the entrance to the Orchard Walk Apartment when he was hit and killed by the vehicle. Family members say Mender was coming from a nearby gas station. 

15-year-old Quartez Mender

A 15-year-old hit-and-run victim, Quartez Mender, was walking near the entrance to the Orchard Walk Apartment when he was hit and killed by the vehicle.  (FOX 5 Atlanta)

"Even if they didn’t know they hit him they knew they had hit something. They could have stopped and helped him. They probably could have saved him. He laid out here," Kulenga said.

According to police, the driver did not remain at the scene and their vehicle should have damage to its front passenger side.

"The driver went home and went to sleep. My son went to the morgue," Kulenga said.

This mother said having to identify her son was the hardest thing she’s had to do. 

"He looked at peace and you tell the driver that broke me to pieces," Kulenga said.

Family members said the teen dreamed of becoming a lawyer and had a smile that would light up a room. 

"He would have been 16 on September 13th. So, instead of a birthday I’m planning a funeral. Instead of picking out an outfit I’m picking out a burial," Kulenga said.

The family is working to bury their loved one. If you would like to donate, the family established a GoFundMe campaign

If you have any information that could help with the investigation, please call the DeKalb County Traffic Specialist Unit at 770-724-7610 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.

WATCH: FOX 5 Atlanta live news coverage


Sign up for FOX 5 email alerts

Download the FOX 5 Atlanta app for breaking news and weather alerts.