A Georgia woman is in custody after a van she was driving with 15 passengers crashed in Suwanee, killing six and injuring nine, around 6:30 p.m. on April 24, authorities said.
According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, Monica Elizabeth Manire, 32, was on I-985 when she lost control of the 2002 Dodge Ram, which was owned by the addiction recovery center We Are Living Proof.
“Investigators believe that Manire made a reckless change of lanes from I-85 to I-985, which caused the van she was driving to flip on its side,” Gwinnett police said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The vehicle slid across two lanes of traffic and rammed into a guardrail.
One driver who called 911 told a dispatcher the vehicle had burst into flames, Atlanta’s WAGA-TV reported.
Another 911 caller said, "They're pulling people out of the car and some are on fire but the pedestrians are taking their clothes off and patting them down.”
The crash fatalities were identified as Ashleigh Paris, 26, Rose Patrick, 34, Alishia Carroll, 34, Normisha Monroe, 38, Kristie Whitfield, 44, and Tina Rice, 53.
On April 28, police arrested Manire and booked her into the Gwinnett County Jail. She is being held without bond and faces charges of one count each of improper lane change and reckless driving, four counts of serious injury by vehicle, and six counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree.
Tamika Gooden, the younger sister of crash victim Normisha Monroe, told the Journal-Constitution she’s relieved “somebody is accountable” for the deadly accident.
“I’m glad they’re investigating and getting to the bottom of it,” she said.
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