Grandmother driving under the influence hits and kills woman, officials say

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — A grandmother has been charged with first-degree homicide by vehicle and DUI after she hit and killed a woman who was checking her mail in her driveway, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Melissa Radcliffe, 57, of Covington, was driving with her 6- and 7-year-old granddaughters on Ga. 212 Monday night when she lost control of her 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer, the GSP said.

The SUV left the roadway, went onto the north shoulder of the road, began to spin and traveled further off the road and into the driveway of 48-year-old Lori Spangler, according to the GSP.

Troopers said Spangler was checking her mail when she was hit by the front of the SUV, which came to rest in nearby bushes with Spangler trapped under the car.


Firefighters and EMTs arrived on the scene and rescued Spangler from under the car, but she later died of her injuries, according to the GSP.

No one in the Traliblazer was seriously injured.

Radcliffe was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, officials said. In addition to first-degree homicide by vehicle and DUI, she was charged with improper lane usage and two counts of endangering the life of a child by driving under the influence, according to the GSP.

A service for Spangler is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Tim Stewart Funeral Home in Loganville.