Gwinnett County

New details released in Gwinnett crash that killed 5 teens, led to other driver’s charges

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County police have charged a driver weeks after five teenagers died in a Labor Day crash in Gwinnett County.

Investigators also revealed that they believe speed and racing were factors in the crash.

Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Matt Johnson confirmed that 20-year-old Emanuel Esfahani turned himself in Tuesday night.

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The crash happened Labor Day morning on the Ga. 316 onramp to Interstate 85. Investigators said a car and Toyota Tacoma collided, causing the truck to flip over and plunge over the flyover’s concrete barrier and land on the onramp to I-85 below.

Hung Nguyen, 18; Katy Gaitan, 17; Ashley Gaitan, 16; Coral Lorenzo, 17; and Abner Santana, 19, were all killed in the crash. Three of the teens attended Lakeside High School in DeKalb County.


Investigators said on Wednesday that they now believe Esfahani, who was driving a Infiniti G35, and Nguyen, who was driving the Tacoma, were racing when the crash happened.

Police said they were speeding over 100 mph on the exit ramp and both drivers tried to pass another car on each side.

Investigators believe that Esfahani swerved across the lanes to avoid a box truck that was stopped in the right emergency lane. Police said the 20-year-old hit the truck, which caused Nguyen to lose control and hit the retaining wall.

Police said the truck’s speed caused it to go over the wall and fall 37 feet onto I-85.

Police said Esfahani wasn’t hurt in the initial wreck, but tried to get to a safe location and jumped over the concrete barrier on the flyover, falling about 25 feet and landing in a creek.

He sustained multiple broken bones in the fall, according to the vehicle crash report obtained by Channel 2 Action News.

Esfahani is facing multiple charges including five felony counts of homicide by vehicle in the first degree, reckless driving, racing on highways, speeding, failure to maintain lane and seat belt violations.

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