Whitaker was a sophomore exercise science and athletic training student, according to an obituary on the Hightower Family Funeral Homes website.
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Mario Vilan Polier, 53, of Hialeah, Fla., faces charges of improper lane change, following too closely and second-degree homicide by vehicle in connection with the incident.
Polier’s tractor-trailer is accused of overturning onto its passenger side while traveling on I-20 East around 7:30 p.m., crashing into a concrete barrier between the eastbound and westbound lanes, the Georgia State Patrol said. Debris from the concrete barrier went into the westbound lanes, striking two vehicles.
One of those vehicles was Whitaker’s, who died at the scene, the GSP said. Three other people were also injured in the crash, but their conditions were not released.
The deadly wreck shut down all eastbound I-20 lanes and all but one westbound lane, and it brought traffic to a standstill on I-20 back to Thornton Road, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.
Polier is in the Fulton County Jail on a $35,000 bond, according to records. He also has a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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