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Mechanic killed after car 'lunged forward'
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A mechanic was killed Tuesday when a car lunged forward and rolled on top of him, according to the shop’s owner.

Robert Stokes, 60, of Bogart, was pronounced dead on the scene around 1 p.m. Tuesday, when a car on a slight grade is believed to have slipped out of gear. Stokes was working with a customer while standing in the Parks Import Service Center driveway on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville, Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes wrote in an email Tuesday.

“I can’t even tell you what’s going through my mind,” said owner Aaron Barnes. “My main thought is with Robert’s family.”

Outside of a man stranded from Savannah, the auto repair shop was halting repairs for the day Wednesday.

“We decided to do his car, and that’s the only one we’re going to do today,” Barnes said.

Although Barnes was not present at the time of the incident, he is told a car jack was used to try to get Stokes out from underneath the vehicle.

“The car just violently lunged forward,” Barnes said from speaking with police investigators and witnesses.

Stokes’ four brothers, sister, wife and two children came to the auto shop Wednesday morning, Barnes said.

Suggestions have been made to Barnes to make a memorial at the auto shop, but plans were going to be held until the funeral.

Barnes, who hired Stokes away from a Decatur shop in 1990, will remember him as an easygoing man willing to help anyone.

“He would get off one of his jobs to go help another mechanic,” Barnes said. “Just a good person.”

A professional mechanic will aid the investigation, working to figure out what caused the vehicle to roll.

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