A wrong-way driver involved in a fatal accident on Wednesday may have been running from police, sources tell FOX 5.
A wrong-way driver in a pickup truck southbound in the northbound lane of Interstate 85 collided head-on with a truck pulling a trailer just before 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Police say a third vehicle was also struck.
The wrong-way driver was killed at the scene, his body burned beyond recognition. A motorist and passenger heading in the proper direction were struck. They were taken to Grady Hospital, where 49-year-old Christopher O'Day, of upstate New York, later died. The driver with O'Day remains hospitalized.
Sources indicate that the wrong-way driver had been involved in a separate crash a short distance away. Investigators believe that driver left the scene of that accident, saw a police cruiser and panicked, a source told FOX 5's Morse Diggs. He then ended up going the wrong way on the interstate.
The driver has not been identified.
Arnold Gray, who captured video of the truck driving the wrong way, spoke with FOX 5's Morse Diggs on Wednesday.
"It was just headlights coming towards me and I was slowing down a little bit because I didn't know which way he was going to be going," said Gray.
Gray swerved to avoid the driver. Seconds later, the crash occurred.
"It was just kind of surreal. It's like what was he doing coming this way and I just had to react to it," said Gray.
The crash is the fourth involving a wrong-way driver in the last several weeks. Over the weekend, a driver slammed into another car on Georgia 316 near Dacula, injuring two people. Last Friday, Carlyn Royball died after she struck another car-head on along Georgia 400 in Sandy Springs. And on August 15, Frampere Ingle got on Ga. 400 in the wrong direction, killing herself and another driver. Police believe that in that case, Ingle had been drinking.
Georgia Department of Transportation officials were at a loss as to the reason for the recent up-tick of wrong-way driver incidents.
"We don't know, either. There's really no rhyme or reason to them. We've investigated each one and checked the signage and the markings of where they could have gotten on, and everything looks to be in order. So, you know, the big problem we have here is most of these are impaired drivers," said Mark McKinnon of the Georgia Department of Transportation.
McKinnon said the accidents are a reminder for drivers to be alert on the roads.