Atlanta woman seriously injured after crash causes fall from I-85 bridge

Authorities believe the crash was caused by street racing

A woman whose car broke down on a raised section of I-85 was seriously injured when a crash forced her off the interstate bridge, causing her to plummet to the ground at least 30 feet below.

Leslie Reese, 27, was hit Monday afternoon as she stood outside of her Chevrolet Cruze in the I-85 emergency lane where the interstate crosses over Piedmont Avenue, Channel 2 Action News reported. As Reese talked on the phone while waiting for a friend to pick her up, a car hit her disabled Cruze and Reese herself, knocking her off of the bridge.

Reese’s father, Irving Reese, wrote on GoFundMe page set up for his daughter that the fall “should have ended her life.” He addressed the media Wednesday as his daughter underwent surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital, where he said she was being treated for broken bones all over her body.

“That’s my baby girl,” Irving said. “I’m just in disbelief that my daughter fell off that bridge. I just can’t believe that she fell off that bridge and survived.”

According to Channel 2, the Georgia State Patrol believes the accident was caused by a man suspected of driving recklessly in his new Chevrolet Camaro. The man, identified by GSP as Horace Dillard Jr., was racing another car on the interstate, speeding and weaving through traffic. While street racing, he hit another car, which in turn knocked Reese off of the bridge.

Dillard has been charged with reckless conduct, driving too fast for conditions and serious injury by vehicle, along with other charges, Channel 2 reported.

“This event will change her life forever and her road to recovery will be a long and extensive process,” Irving wrote on the fundraising page. “The doctors do not see her being able to walk for another three months.”

Irving said the money raised would go directly toward helping his daughter pay her medical bills.

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