Gwinnett County

1 dead, 17 hurt in fiery wreck on Highway 316

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County highway is back open after a chain-reaction crash killed one person and hurt at least 17 others.

The wreck happened on Highway 316 at Buford Drive shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday. The road opened around 9 p.m.

We know at least one child younger than 10 was involved. No one taken to the hospital had life-threatening injuries.

But every one of those 17 injured witnessed a death.

"Nightmare stuff. Stuff that I think we will always remember," driver Shirley Roberts told Channel 2's Nicole Carr. "Everyone was just screaming out of fear of watching the man in the burning car."


Roberts said she kicked her way out her gray Durango after she heard the tractor-trailer behind her Monday afternoon.

“Just instinctively, something told me I was about to be hit,” Roberts said.

“All of a sudden, I turn and look and see a car flying towards us and hit us, and he flew into a ditch,” another driver, who did not wish to be identified, told Carr.

Before they knew it, they were two of many drivers and passengers caught up in a mangled, fiery mess on Highway 316 eastbound near High Hope Road.

“It's such a chaotic scene,” said Lawrenceville police Sgt. Chris Ralston.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how that tractor-trailer plowed into the cars.

“Try not to let it affect us as best as possible,” Ralston said.

Five and a half hours later, Highway 316 reopened. Survivors were giving thanks.

“I remember hitting my knees and screaming 'Jesus.' And thanking God I was alive. God is good,” Roberts said.