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."
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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.
Cox Media Group