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Details Emerge in Fatal Accident, Hit-and-Runs on Highway 78

Son of driver accused of ramming 15 vehicles stated that his father had just left a DeKalb bar, where he was regularly over-served.

Details Emerge in Fatal Accident, Hit-and-Runs on Highway 78

Gwinnett County Police have released details surrounding the hit-and-runs that took place on Jan. 23 shortly before midnight.

The accidents stretched from Memorial Drive in DeKalb County to Walton Court in Snellville, with the final accident resulting in the death of Loganville's Mintiwal Woldeyhans, 69.

Her daughter, 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe, is in the hospital with serious injuries. 

The driver, Michael O. Snider, 70, is currently in Gwinnett County jail on charges of DUI, following too closely, reckless driving, vehicular homicide and serious injury by vehicle. He was detained by Snellville Police after he attempted to flee the scene. 

Read the original story here.

Following Snider's arrest, officers contacted his son and advised him of his father's location. While the officers did not mention the involvement of alcohol, the son stated he wanted it known that Snider had just come from a bar in DeKalb. He stated that the bar continuously overserves Snider and that, despite his protestations and phone calls to the bar, nothing changed. 

Snider is suspected of at least ten accidents at or around the following intersections:

  • Highway 78/ Bethany Church Rd.
  • Highway 78/ Hewatt Rd.
  • Highway 78/ Ross Rd.
  • Highway 78/ Ross Rd.
  • Highway 78/ Paxton Lane
  • Highway 78/ Killian Hill Rd.
  • Highway 78/ East Park Place
  • Highway 78/ Parkwood Rd.
  • Highway 78/ East Park Place
  • Highway 78/ Killian Hill Rd.

He is suspected of five additional hit-and-runs in DeKalb County.

According to Gwinnett County's Cpl. Edwin Ritter, authorities continue to investigate the accidents and whether or not Mr. Snider intentionally hit the vehicles involved. 

The final accident involved a total of five vehicles (diagram attached above). According to police reports, vehicle 5 was eastbound on Highway 78 and stopped at a red light in the middle lane. Vehicles 3 and 4 were also eastbound and stopped in the far right lane, next to vehicle 5. Vehicle 2 was driving eastbound on 78, slowing to a stop. 

At that point, vehicle 1, Michael Owens, rear ended vehicle 2, causing it to be pushed into the back of vehicle 3. Vehicle 2 spun, coming to rest underneath the trailer of vehicle 5.

Vehicle 3 then rear ended vehicle 4. Owens subsequently veered off the roadway and ended up striking the front of Johnboy's Home Cooking.

The drivers of vehicles 3 and 4 both complained of neck and back pain but refused medical transport. The driver of vehicle 2, Yeshihareg Abebe, 51, of Grayson, was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, where she remains. Her passenger and mother, Mintiwal Woldeyhans, 69, of Loganville, died on scene from her injuries. 

According to WSBTV.com, Woldeyhans raised nine children on her own. It is uncertain whether her daughter, Abebe, will survive. 

"When we ask her to open her eyes, she can open her eyes," said Woldeyhans' brother, Gebeyehu Mulugeta, to WSBTV. "Is she going to come out of this? We don't know."

Woldeyhans funeral is on today, Jan. 27, 2013. 

The driver and passenger of vehicle 5 were not injured. Owens was not injured either but requested medical transport. 

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