by: Richard Elliot Updated:
HALL COUNTY, Ga - A state crime lab report confirms the driver who caused a head-on collision that claimed her life and the lives of four others was high on methamphetamines.
Thirty-year old Amanda Pardue died on June 30 when troopers said the car she was driving crossed the center line of Highway 11 in Hall County and crashed head-on into a truck. Her daughter, 8-year old Kayleigh died at the scene along with her cousin 53-year-old Robert Hollis and his grandson 13-year-old Dalton Martin.
Pardue's 3-year old son Eli died later at the hospital.
A day after the collision, Pardue's longtime fiance Craig Emfinger told Channel 2 Action News about her meth use, but it was decided to hold that portion of the interview until after the release of the toxicology report.
"She was a good mother," said Emfinger. "She just had a problem. She just had a slip, you know? She loved her kids."
The toxicology report showed Pardue tested "postive for methamphetamine higher than the highest caliber of 800-micrograms per liter." According to experts, that means there was too much meth in Pardue's system to accurately measure.
"Of course, any level of meth would imply impairment," said Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Chad Johnson. "The levels they're advising us would imply that that would be an impairment to cause her to drive less safe."
Emfinger said both he and Pardue were drug addicts, but after a series of arrests and drug court, had been clean for four years.
The Hall County Sheriff's Office showed a series of arrests for Pardue dating back more than 10 years ago on charges including possession of meth, manufacturing meth, attempting to manufacture meth, child cruelty and theft.
Emfinger admitted that after a recent back injury, he got hooked on pain killers. He thinks that led Pardue to begin using meth again.
He also stated that Pardue suffered from epilepsy and used the meth to prevent the side effects of the medication which, he said, included fainting.
"She has epilepsy," said Emfinger. "And what happens is, she takes the medication to keep her from going into convulsions, but she faints. She should not have been driving. I've been begging her not to get in that car."
Emfinger also said he warned her not to drive with their children just three days before the crash.
"I told her the other day, I said, ‘Baby, you're going to kill them. You're going to kill them,’" Emfinger said. "Every time you get in that car, you know, you're not supposed to be driving. The more times you get in it, the more risk you take."
The Georgia State Patrol now considers this case closed.
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