Traffic Alert: I-85 and I-985 to be impacted by fatality investigation Thursday morning

Gwinnett County Police Department is reporting that shortly after 11 am today, Thursday, Jan. 30, the Accident Investigation Unit will be conducting a follow-up investigation on Interstate-985 and I-85 at the scene of a fatal accident on Jan. 24 in which the driver’s of two tractor-trailers died. GCPD warns that, 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 to allow officers assigned to the AIU to document the scene utilizing their drone and other equipment. The southbound entrance ramp from Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road will be tempory closed during this time. This is expected to last about 30 minutes.

Real-time updates will be documented on Twitter and Facebook at @GwinnettPd.

According to the original report, two persons died and one person was arrested after the 3-vehicle accident that shut down I. 85 between Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and Old Peachtree Road in unincorporated Suwanee for several hours at about 1:30 a.m. Two vehicles were commercial tractor-trailers, and the other vehicle was a passenger car. The drivers of both the tractor-trailers died at the scene and the driver of the passenger car was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

GCPD reported at the time that, 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, 28, of 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 into whether it hit the Mitsubishi and/or the other tractor-trailer after their impacts. The driver of that vehicle who also died was Raymond Samuel, 50, of Decatur.

After her release from the hospital, Knox was arrested. She is charged with Homicide by Vehicle, Failure to Maintain Lane, and Too Fast for Conditions. Alcohol does not appear to be a contributing factor. However, speed and weather conditions are being investigated.



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