DeKalb County

7-car crash that killed 1, injured 3 caused by driver of stolen truck, police say

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 7-car crash killed one person and injured three others Sunday afternoon in Chamblee. The crash happened at the intersection of Chamblee Tucker Road and Buford Highway around 3 p.m.

Chamblee police said Monday the suspect who caused it was trying to get away in a stolen truck.

Officers received a call about a stolen vehicle and kidnapping around the time of the crash. When they arrived at the scene, officers learned the victim left his Ford F-150 running with his son in the backseat while he went into the store.

A man walked across the street and stole the truck with the child inside, according to police.

Police said the man was backing up out of the parking lot when he collided with another car. The collision injured the child, who got out of the truck and was taken to Children’s Healthcare.


The suspect sped away and crashed the truck into several cars off Buford Highway and Chamblee Tucker Road. The crash killed 79-year-old Judith Schonbak of Atlanta.

The suspect was able to walk away from the crash and police took him into custody. Georgia State Patrol identified him Monday as 20-year-old Janathan A. Sanchez.

The following warrants have been issued for Sanchez:

  • First Degree Vehicular Homicide
  • Murder
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices
  • Speeding
  • Felony Hit and Run

Charges also pending for kidnapping, cruelty to children 2nd degree, and theft by taking. Georgia State Patrol said these charges are being handled by Chamblee police.

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