The 32-year-old Lawrenceville woman charged with felony hit and run and DUI in an Interstate 85 crash that injured 13 developmentally disabled adults and their bus driver made her first court appearance Thursday morning.
A Gwinnett County magistrate ordered Joy Christine Wilson held without bond at the county jail until a preliminary hearing on Jan. 7.
Witnesses told police Wilson was driving erratically, changing lanes frequently to bypass cars, before causing the 11:45 a.m. wreck Wednesday in the northbound lanes just north of Pleasant Hill Road. Her black 1999 Honda Accord hit the back of a small bus operated by Norcross-based Just People Inc., and the bus lost control, police said. The bus skidded across several lanes and flipped on its side before colliding with the guardrail and righting itself.
The wreck, which shut down I-85 northbound for about three hours, sent three people to the hospital in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. Nine others suffered serious injuries and two had minor injuries.
Thursday morning, police said nine people remained at Gwinnett Medical Center: one in critical condition, one in serious condition and seven in good condition. One patient was in stable condition at North Fulton Regional Hospital.
Wilson pulled over briefly following the accident, but left before police arrived, Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly said. An hour later, she was apprehended as she attempted to return to the scene.
A family member convinced her to turn herself in, Kelly said. About the same time, police found her car in an unincorporated area of Lawrenceville.
"Wilson was taken into custody at Satellite and Steve Reynolds boulevards," Kelly said.
According to its Web site, Just People "provides a wide variety of support services to adults with developmental disabilities."
The bus was taking "special-needs individuals to an art class in Hoschton," Kelly said.
The person answering the phone at the Just People office Wednesday afternoon said the agency had no comment on the wreck.
-- Staff writers Mike Morris and Mashaun D. Simon, and staff photographer Vino Wong contributed to this report.
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