GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police said the driver who slammed into a hearse during a funeral procession was so high his pulse was visible on his neck.
The family of the 90-year-old woman who was in the hearse on the way to the cemetery said the crash just piles more grief on top of grief.
"It still doesn't seem real," Normal Stanley said. She said that no matter what she does, she just can't get the horrific image out of her head. "Whenever I close my eyes, that's what I see, my mother's hearse tumbling -- every time I close my eyes," Stanley said.
Stanley said the hearse carrying the body of her mother flipped over three times after it was hit by a car Friday afternoon at the intersection of Lawrenceville Highway and Rockbridge Road in Lilburn.
Friend Sharon Gary-Dill was in a car behind the hearse and saw the impact.
"Just it going up in the air and over -- top over bottom, top over bottom," she said.
Stanley's family and friends had just left the funeral for her mother, Evelyn Mary Osborne. They were headed to the cemetery when, police said, driver Troy Hickey ignored officers halting traffic and slammed into the hearse.
Hickey faces DUI and drug charges, along with funeral procession right of way, failure to obey person directing traffic and other traffic offenses.
The pastor who officiated the service said Hickey almost hit an escort officer.
Stanley said she had one thought: "I just was wondering, 'God just don't let her body be hurt.'" She said her mother protected her family even in death, when the car hit the hearse and not the limo the family was in. "We were right behind that hearse. So if it had hit us, it could have been much more serious," she said.
The two funeral directors in the hearse are in the hospital. Police said they encountered Hickey during another crash in which drugs were found.
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