Published January 24, 2013
Police say an elderly Georgia driver may have been drunk when he hit at least a dozen vehicles before slamming into a car, setting off a chain of events that left one woman dead and another hospitalized, according to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
Michael O. Snider, 70, reportedly was behind the wheel of a gray 2006 Ford Super Duty truck when he struck the rear of a Toyota Camry, driven by 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe. The impact caused the Camry to hit a stopped vehicle, and that vehicle then slammed into another stopped vehicle. The initial impact sent the Camry into and under a big rig.
According to Gwinnett County Police, the impact sent Snider's truck through a parking lot before hitting the front of Johnboy's Home Cooking restaurant.
Police say Adebe was sent to a local hospital for treatment with life-threatening injuries. A passenger in the Camry, 69-year-old Mintiwab Woldeyhans, died at the scene.
"We bust the window open. At that time we only thought it was one person. But something told me to go around the other side," witness Cameron Brown told MyFoxAtlanta.
Moments after the impact, drivers passing the scene rushed to help.
"We just tried to maintain her, keep her still," said Brown.
While some witnesses focused on helping those inside the crushed car, others trailed Snider.
"The guy got out and someone pinned him against the wall," said witness Eric Prichard.
Investigators say Snider was drunk, and that the trouble started at another location.
"This originated in DeKalb County, where he hit five different vehicles, causing five different accidents. Drove into Gwinnett County and was involved in 12 separate hit-and-run accidents. And then was involved in this accident here," said Cpl. Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department.
Police say the driver and passenger of the big rig were not injured, and the drivers of the two other vehicles complained of back pain and refused medical treatment.
Snider complained of injuries and was taken to an area hospital, MyFoxAtlanta.com reports. He was later taken to the Gwinnett County jail. Police say he faces numerous charges, including vehicular homicide, reckless driving, DUI and several counts of hit-and-run.
It is not known if Snider was given a blood-alcohol test.
Investigators are still trying to piece together the accident. They say they are not sure how many crashes occurred on Highway 78 in Snellville, just outside of Atlanta.
Snider was denied bond by a judge on Thursday. A preliminary hearing for Snider is set for February 1 at 1 :30 p.m.