Update: 2 victims in the I.85 accident and fire identified


Gwinnett County Police Department has identified the two people who died in Saturday morning’s accident on Interstate 85 as Emeral Lynn, 31, of Norcross and Yonas Worku, 44, of Snellville. According to a press release from GCPD, the preliminary investigation revealed that Lynn, who was was driving a silver Volkswagen Passat, was stopped in the second from the right lane after having just been involved in a separate traffic accident. Worku was driving a Freightliner truck pulling a fuel tanker trailer carrying about 8500 pounds of fuel. Worku was unable to stop for some reason and ran into the back of Lynn’s vehicle.

After the initial collision, both vehicles separated from each other and the tanker truck spun sideways across four lanes of traffic, causing it to flip multiple times. Both vehicles then came to rest adjacent to each other and were quickly engulfed in flames. Both Lynn and Worku died from injuries sustained during the incident.

Interstate 85 northbound was shutdown either completely, or partially, for about 10 hours. Emergency paving was conducted at the accident scene to repair damage to the roadway and it was re-opened at about 6 p.m..


Photo credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services


Photo credit: Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services

Officials advise tat Interstate 85 northbound will continue to be affected throughout the rest of the day Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, as repairs are being made to the roadway. The tractor-trailer was reportedly carrying 8,500 gallons of fuel made up of 7,500 gallons of gasoline and 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The two fatalities were recovered from the burned-out shells of the vehicles. Gwinnett County Police Department is leading the accident investigation and Georgia Department of Transportation and H.E.R.O Units are providing traffic control and assessing damage to the roadway. The EPA and Georgia EPD along with hazmat clean-up companies are on scene and evaluating the environmental impact. Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources has crews on the scene evaluating a broken water main on Crescent Drive.


Gwinnett Police confirmed a second fatality in the accident that shut down Interstate-85 in Gwinnett County at Jimmy Carter Boulevard on Saturday. Names of both victims are not being released until next of kin are notified.

According to a press release from Gwinnett County Police Department, crews responded to a report of a multi-vehicle accident near Jimmy Carter Boulevard at about 7:50 a.m. While arriving at the scene, there was a loud explosion and crews came up on an overturned tanker truck and a passenger car fully engulfed in flames. Fire crews from both Gwinnett County and Dekalb County responded to the scene and all of I-85  was shut down with traffic being diverted onto Pleasantdale Road.

An unidentified flammable liquid from the tanker quickly drained into a nearby storm drain spreading the fire underground in the storm drain further south on I. 85, and crossing underneath Interstate 85 southbound. This exited a storm drain near Crescent Drive resulting in multiple fires and large smoke stacks on and around both I.85 north and southbound. As a result, traffic on I. 85 southbound was diverted onto Beaver Ruin Road. Several drivers that were stopped on the Interstate were evacuated on foot from their vehicle and took cover behind nearby business. Fire personnel were able to contain and eventually extinguish the fires.

Gwinnett County’s Accident Investigation Unit responded to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Initial Story

Gwinnett County Police have confirmed that one person has died in a traffic accident Saturday morning, Feb. 1, 2020, that currently has Interstate 85 north and southbound completely shut down at Jimmy Carter Boulevard. Both I. 85NB and SB are shut down at this time along with sections of Dawson Blvd and Crescent Drive while fire crews battle fire that has spread from an overturned tractor-trailer. The fire is currently being brought under control using firefighting foam.

GCPD report that drivers were evacuated from their vehicles as well as surrounding businesses but there is one confirmed fatality.

Details to follow.

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