POSTED: 4:53 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 8:29 a.m. HST, Jan 24, 2013
SNELLVILLE, Ga. » A 70-year-old motorist faces vehicular homicide and drunken driving charges after police say he caused 15 crashes that left one person dead and another critically injured.
Michael O. Snider of Stone Mountain is accused of carving a trail of wreckage with his pickup across two counties in northern Atlanta's suburbs. He was apprehended after the pickup slammed into a restaurant near Snellville Wednesday night, police said.
Snider is suspected of causing five wrecks in DeKalb County and 10 more in Gwinnett County, police said.
The fatal crash, which happened just before the restaurant was rammed, involved a chain-reaction collision involving five vehicles that killed Mintiwab Woldeyhans, 69, of Loganville.
Seconds before the deadly wreck, Snider's pickup struck the rear of a Toyota Camry that was slowing to a stop, police said. The impact of that collision sent the Toyota into a stopped vehicle in front of it. One of the vehicles became wedged under the trailer of a semitrailer, police said.
The driver of the Toyota, 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe of Grayson, suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to a hospital for treatment. Woldeyhans, who was a passenger in the Toyota, died at the scene.
Snider "then veered off the roadway, through a parking lot and hit the front of Johnboys Home Cooking restaurant," Gwinnett police said in a statement.
Snider was released from a hospital and taken to the Gwinnett County Jail. Jail records do not indicate whether he has an attorney.