1 killed, 1 injured in Ga. 400 wrong-way crash

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SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. - A driver involved in a fatal crash on Ga. 400 Friday morning says the other driver slammed into him while going the wrong way on the highway.

Sandy Springs police said the two cars were involved in the crash near Northridge Road. One person was injured and one person was killed. It's the second deadly wrong way crash on Ga. 400 in a week.

Police say 22-year-old Carly Royball died when she hit a car driven by morning show host Kelly Stevens of 98.5 WSB-FM.

“I was in the left lane, then all of a sudden I looked up and there was headlights, it was a wrong-way driver. I heard the person who hit me didn’t make it,” Stevens said when he called into the radio station from the hospital.

Stevens is being treated for broken bones at Grady Memorial Hospital but is in good spirits, according to a blog by co-host Vikki Locke.

Police said they don't know where Royball was before the crash or why she got on the highway travelling in the wrong direction.

A friend told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik he doesn't believe Royball was drinking before the crash.

"She loved life. She would never do this on purpose," Blake Clark said. "She was an avid drinker, but not drinking and driving. She was smart when it came to that."

Clark said Royball waited tables at a Taco Mac restaurant in Alpharetta.

Channel 2's Aaron Diamant talked with state transportation officials about prevention mesaures for drivers who enter ramps in the wrong direction.

Spokesman Mark McKinnon said a recent study found 95 percent of all wrong way drivers are impaired by alcohol, drugs or medication.

"What is really sad, is when they die as a result of something that could have been prevented," McKinnon said.

Officials said more than two dozen people have died in wrong way crashes since 2004 in Georgia, including Frampere Ingle who was drinking before she caused a wrong way crash on Ga. 400 in Buckhead last week. Frampere struck and killed another driver. A Doraville police detective was also killed on Interstate 20 last November by a drunk driver going the wrong direction.

McKinnon said wrong way crashes almost always happen in the far left lane, so if you see headlights coming toward you, don't slam on your breaks, just slowly move all the way over to the right shoulder.


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