Driver in fatal Hall crash tested positive for meth

ajc.com

Credit: EMMA WITMAN/The Gainesville Times

The driver in a Hall County crash that killed five people, including three children, tested positive for methamphetamine and other drugs, the Georgia State Patrol said Friday.

Amanda Lynn Pardue, 34, of Gainesville, was driving a Ford Explorer on Ga. 11 when she crossed the concrete median, drove into oncoming traffic and struck a tractor-trailer on June 30. Pardue was ejected in the head-on crash.

Results of blood tests by the GBI crime lab showed she tested positive for methamphetamine, amphetamine and other drugs, according to toxicology findings released by the GSP.

Pardue and her 8-year-old daughter, Kayleigh, died at the scene, along with family friend Robbie Hollis, 53, and his 13-year-old grandson, Dalton Martin, according to police. Pardue’s youngest son, who was days away from turning 3, was alive when he was pulled from the wreckage, according to troopers. But Eli Emfinger later died at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released.

At the time of the wreck, Pardue was on medication for epilepsy and severe back pain, a cousin previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brandy Poole said Pardue may have had a seizure behind the wheel because it had previously happened.

“She’d had epilepsy for about eight months,” Poole said. “There always had to be someone with her when she was driving. Her doctor felt like they had it under control.”

The GSP report does not state what drugs, other than methamphetamine and amphetamine, were in Pardue’s system. The meth in her system was “higher than the highest caliber of 800 micrograms per liter,” the report states.

Investigators were unable to confirm whether Pardue was wearing a seatbelt. Hollis, in the front passenger side seat, was wearing a shoulder and lap belt, the report states. The youngest child was in a booster seat, but neither Kayleigh nor Dalton were wearing seatbelts, according to investigators.

In August 2009, Pardue was arrested and charged with manufacturing meth, according to Hall County jail records. The case was closed in November 2010 after Pardue completed a drug program, a spokeswoman for Hall County Superior Court said Friday.

Twelve days before the fatal crash, Pardue was arrested for allegedly violating her bond conditions following a March arrest on a simple battery charge, records show.

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