Driver sought in crash that injured 3, shut down I-285 for hours

Authorities are searching for a driver who hit three people stopped on I-285 after a fiery crash in Sandy Springs on Wednesday morning.

Two vehicles were involved in the initial crash in the eastbound lanes near New Northside Drive around 2 a.m., Sandy Springs police said. A third driver in a tractor-trailer had stopped to help and extinguish the flames when all three people were hit by a blue Ford Mustang. 

“The Mustang then left the scene with heavy front-end damage,” Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham said.

The victims were taken to area hospitals.

Ray Redding, a supervisor at Florida Rock and Tank lines, told Channel 2 Action News the truck driver was OK and was released from the hospital a few hours later. 

 

Another victim, Jeannie Smithwick, was still unconscious at Grady Memorial Hospital on Wednesday afternoon, her friends told the news station.

They said Smithwick, who works at a Brookhaven gastropub, is suffering from a head injury, a broken arm and a broken leg. 

 

“She’s an amazing person. She loves her family, her friends. Everybody loves her,” said Ryan Harrison, who stopped by Grady’s Intensive Care Unit with his girlfriend to see their friend. “Anybody that’s gonna hit three people and just leave the scene of an accident, that’s scum of the earth.”

The condition of the third victim was not known Wednesday afternoon.

 

Authorities shut down the eastbound lanes of the interstate for more than four hours while they investigated. All lanes were reopened by 6:30 a.m., but hefty delays continued through much of the morning drive in Fulton and Cobb counties.

Sandy Springs police are asking anyone with information about the driver of the Ford Mustang to contact the department at 770-551-6900 or call 911. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.