Police told the AJC in 2008 that authorities were notified of a wrong-way driver just minutes before the deadly wreck over the July 4 holiday weekend.
South, 41, was driving a Lincoln Town Car in the wrong direction on I-20 eastbound around 1:45 a.m. and slammed head-on into a Pontiac Sunbird driven by Bird, 22, of Douglasville between North County Line and Lee roads. South and Bird died at the scene.
One of Bird's passengers, 26-year-old Melisa Sinkfield of Atlanta, died during transport to Grady Memorial Hospital. Keonda Brown, then a 22-year-old living in Carrollton, was the only survivor.
“Fatima did not die in vain. This case will bring awareness about the long-term effects of a drunk driving. This has devastated our family,” Bird's mother, Lisa Mitchell, said in the news release. “Fatima was my daughter and my friend. We honor her by using this award to send her children to college so they can become the best that they can be.”
Bird's daughters are now 4 and 5 years old, Speckhals told the AJC.