Truck driver charged in fatal multi-vehicle crash on Ga. 400 in Forsyth County

A man driving a tractor-trailer at an “unreasonable speed” Friday evening caused a chain of crashes that left one man dead on Ga. 400, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said.

Multiple vehicles were in the left northbound lane of the highway stopped or stopping for traffic when a loaded Freightliner tractor-trailer began approaching at a speed unsuitable for the current traffic conditions and construction zone, sheriff’s office spokeswoman Stacie Miller said.

The truck driver, 61-year-old Charles Wilkins of Cumming, failed to stop and struck the back of a Nissan Rogue at about 8:30 p.m., Miller said, causing a chain reaction near Browns Bridge Road. Three other vehicles were involved.

The Nissan and tractor-trailer then crossed over the median into southbound traffic. That’s when the big rig struck a Kia Sorento on the front driver’s side, Miller said.

The driver of the Kia, 65-year-old James Wright of Cumming, was pronounced dead at the scene.

All drivers and passengers, including Wilkins, were taken to a hospital with injuries considered not life-threatening, Miller said.

Several other vehicles were damaged by flying debris, according to Miller, but no additional injuries were reported. Ga. 400 was closed in both directions for more than five hours as investigators worked the scene and authorities cleaned up debris.

Wilkins is charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions and following too close. He was to be taken to the Forsyth County Jail after his release from the hospital. He was not granted bond.