Imagine traveling on I-75 in downtown Atlanta and seeing a pair of headlights speeding toward you in the opposite direction. That’s what happened to Jasmin Zachery, 25, early this morning. A student at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, she was on her way home from a friend’s house when a wrong-way driver crashed into her car.
Police say that the wrong way driver, Theus Monroe, 26, was going north on I-75 southbound and traveling at a high speed when he collided head-on with another car. Both drivers were trapped in their vehicles and had to be rescued. Zachery died in the accident.
The accident occurred near Langford Parkway. Police closed all southbound connector lanes to investigate the scene and clear the wreckage. The interstate reopened at 5:30 a.m. this morning.
Monroe is in critical condition at Grady Hospital. He was arrested for reckless driving, serious injury by vehicle, and driving the wrong way. At this point, there are no reports on whether or not Monroe was intoxicated. According to CBS Atlanta, it was his birthday. As you can imagine, most wrong way drivers are intoxicated.
Sadly, this is not the only recent traffic fatality caused by a wrong way driver in Atlanta. Last month an Atlanta drunk driver going the wrong way on I-20 killed a mother of two. The suspect, Robert Ayiteyfio, was driving west on the eastbound lanes of I-20 when his Camry collided with a Ford Taurus driven by Shameyka Welch, 24, who died at Grady Hospital. Ayiteyfio fled on foot but was caught by police. He was charged with DUI, homicide by vehicle, and driving the wrong way. He was taken to Fulton County Jail. Last week the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Ayiteyfio’s preliminary hearing has been delayed.
Back in June, an Atlanta drunk driver was arrested after he caused nine crashes while driving the wrong way on I-85 and the Buford connector. After the drunk driver, Richard Jernigan, caused the ninth wreck that day, a group of witnesses chased him down and held him for police. Witness Brian Shields said, “I guess the adrenalin . . . I was not going to let him get away because he hurt that lady and almost hurt us. (He) could’ve hurt many more people.” Luckily, there were no fatalities in this case. One woman was seriously injured but expected to fully recover.
As we enter the holiday season, more drunk drivers will be on the roads of Atlanta. Be vigilant and drive defensively. You’d probably never expect to see a wrong-way driver headed toward you on an Atlanta interstate, but as these reports show, it’s a distinct possibility. Be prepared and keep your eyes on the road at all times.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a drunk driver or reckless driver, contact an attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.