Update: Gwinnett Police seek witnesses in fatal pedestrian accident involving judge

Judge Emily Powell. Contributed Photo


Gwinnet County Police said that during the course of the investigation into the pedestrian accident on Dec. 20, 2019  that resulted in the death on Dec. 31, 2019, of Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Emily Powell, it was learned that there were several witnesses and bystanders on scene either before, during, or immediately after this incident.  Investigators are encouraging anyone who witnessed any portion of this incident, or provided any type of aid afterward, to contact the Gwinnett County Police Department.  Anyone with information can call 770-513-5300.

Initial Story

(Buford, Georgia)  The Gwinnett County Police Department is actively investigating a fatal pedestrian accident that took place at about 6 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2019, at the intersection of South Lee Street and West Moreno Street in Buford. Gwinnett Senior Magistrate Judge Emily Powell died as a result of the accident on Dec. 31, 2019. She was the wife of Social Circle and a former Lawrenceville and Snellville City Attorney, Tony Powell.

According to a press release from the Gwinnett County Police Department, the judge was crossing from the south shoulder to the north shoulder of West Moreno Street when she was struck by a truck that was traveling on the roadway.  She sustained serious injuries at the scene and was transported to the hospital where she subsequently passed away on Tuesday. The circumstances surrounding this incident are still under investigation. The driver, Obed Arreola Toledo, 42, of Buford was driving the vehicle that hit the judge and, according to the police report, she initially left the scene but later made contact with the authorities. At this time, police have not labeled it a hit and run.

“We are calling it a pedestrian accident at this time. Investigators are still trying to determine what happened,” Cpl. Colin Flynn, the public information officer with GCPD said.

Powell was one of the original Gwinnett County Magistrates where she served the court for more than 20 years. She attended the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer and leaves behind a husband and two children. Based on her experience, she was routinely tasked with helping train and mentor new judges in Gwinnett County. She also was a graduate of Leadership Gwinnett and active with Gwinnett Senior Leadership.

If anyone has any information to share in this case, please contact GCPD detectives at 770-513-5300.  To remain anonymous, tipsters should contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit www.stopcrimeATL.com.  Crime Stoppers tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Case Number:  19-117579

Editor’s Note: We would like to extend our sincere condolences to the Powell family in their time of loss. The death of Judge Emily Powell is a heartbreaking loss to her family and to the community.


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