James Patrick Koontz
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Cobb County Sheriff's Office

Driver arrested in crash near KSU campus that injured passenger 

A Kennesaw man is facing charges after crashing his car into a tree near the Kennesaw State University campus Monday and seriously injuring his passenger.  

James Koontz, 27, was driving a gray Toyota Corolla south on George Busbee Parkway when he lost control on a curve south of Frey Road, according to Cobb County police. The sedan hit a curb and continued onto a center median, where it hit a tree just after 3 a.m.

Koontz sustained minor injuries. His 27-year-old passenger, Christian Sams, was in worse shape. Sams was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police did not provide an update on his condition Tuesday.

Investigators believe Koontz was driving drunk. He was treated at Kennestone and charged with DUI, failure to maintain lane and serious injury by vehicle upon his release. 

Koontz was being held in the Cobb County jail Tuesday in lieu of $40,000 bond. 

The collision is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Cobb County Police Department at 770-499-3987. 

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