UPDATE #1: Interstate Crash Leads to Two Deaths & One Arrest – Follow-up Investigation: Traffic will be Affected
Update #1, 01/30/2020: Shortly after 11am today, Thursday, January 30, the Accident Investigation Unit will be conducting a follow-up investigation at the scene of the original incident location. As a result of this follow-up, the GCPD Motors Unit will begin pacing motorists at very low speeds starting at Buford Drive from both I-985 and I-85. By slowing traffic, the officers assigned to the Accident Investigation Unit will be able to document the scene utilizing their drone and other equipment. The southbound entrance ramp from Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road will be closed during this temporary follow-up investigation.
This event is expected to last approximately 30 minutes. Real time updates will be documented on Twitter and Facebook at @GwinnettPd.
Original, 01/24/2020: (Suwanee, Georgia) Two persons died and one person was arrested after an early morning crash that shut down Interstate 85 for several hours.
At approximately 1:30am, officers assigned to the Central Precinct were dispatched to an injury crash on Interstate 85 southbound in between Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Old Peachtree Road in unincorporated Suwanee. Responding officers found at least three vehicles involved. Two vehicles were commercial tractor trailers, and the other vehicle was a passenger car.
The drivers of both commercial tractor trailers were deceased. The driver of the passenger car was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The interstate was shut down to allow for the Accident Investigation Unit to complete the on-scene investigation.
Based on the preliminary investigation, evidence at the scene, and witness statements, it appears as though the incident began when the driver of the passenger car, Leah Knox (age 28, Buford) lost control of her grey 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse and made impact with a guardrail on the right side of the roadway.
One of the tractor trailers struck the Mitsubishi as it reflected off the guardrail and reentered the roadway. This tractor trailer was being driven by Robert Kent (age 63, Stockbridge). The tractor trailer continued forward and struck the center median wall.
The movements of the second tractor trailer are still being investigated, but investigators are looking in to the possibility that it made impact with the Mitsubishi and/or the other tractor trailer after their impacts. The driver of the second tractor trailer has been identified as Raymond Samuel (age 50, Decatur). Notification has been made for the families of both Kent and Samuel.
Upon her release from the hospital, Leah Knox was placed under arrest and transported to the Gwinnett County Jail. She has been charged with Homicide by Vehicle, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Too Fast for Conditions.
Alcohol consumption does not appear to be a contributing factor, however speed and weather conditions are being investigated.