Yonas Worku, 44, of Snellville, was driving the tanker and collided with Lynn’s car, police said. The tanker, which contained about 8,500 pounds of fuel, flipped multiple times. Both vehicles were quickly engulfed in flames. Lynn and Worku died from injuries sustained in the accident.
The fire scorched the highway and spread to nearby areas along the highway through storm drains. Northbound I-85 was shut completely or partially for about 10 hours.
Higley said GDOT crews repaved a 100-foot by 70-foot stretch of the highway Saturday. Those repairs took about five to six hours, and all lanes reopened shortly at about 6 p.m.
Monday morning's vehicle fire about one mile south of the same location was quickly extinguished. They reopened by 8 a.m. The crash involved two passenger vehicles and a tractor-trailer, said Gwinnett fire spokesman Lt. Justin Wilson.
When fire crews arrived just before 6:30 a.m., one of the passenger vehicles was fully engulfed in flames. One person was assessed by medics at the scene and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, Wilson said. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.
Higley said no additional repairs were needed because of Monday’s blaze. He said the cost of repairs from Saturday’s fire should be minimal because the work was done by GDOT employees.
“It’s tragic that two people died in that crash,” he said. “Fortunately, it was on a weekend day, and not a weekday. That would have been exponentially worse, in terms of traffic.”