Police: Drunk driver caused 17 hit-and-run crashes - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Police: Drunk driver caused 17 hit-and-run crashes

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Gwinnett County police say an apparent DUI driver is at fault for a deadly accident that happened on Highway 78 near Snellville on Wednesday night.  Investigators believe 70-year-old Michael Snider caused at least 17 different hit-and-run crashes along a stretch of several miles.

Police say Snider was behind the wheel of a gray 2006 Ford Super Duty truck, and they believe he hit more than a dozen cars as he drove down Hwy. 78 from DeKalb County to Snellville.  The worst of those crashes happened when he crashed into the back of a Toyota Camry driven by 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe.

The impact from the crash caused the Camry to be crushed by a tractor-trailer that was stopped right next to it.  Police say Snider kept driving and crashed through the front of Johnboy's Home Cooking Restaurant.  

Adebe was sent to a local hospital for treatment with life-threatening injuries. A passenger who was riding in the Camry, 69-year-old Mintiwab Woldeyhans, died at the scene.

Moments after the impact, drivers passing the scene rushed to help.  

"We busted the window open. At that time we only thought it was one person. But something told me to go around the other side," said witness Cameron Brown.

While some witnesses focused on helping those inside the crushed car, others trailed Snider.

"The guy got out and someone pinned him against the wall," said witness Eric Prichard.

Gwinnett county investigators say Snider was drunk, and that the trouble started at another location.

"This originated in DeKalb County, where he hit five different vehicles, causing five different accidents. Drove into Gwinnett County and was involved in 12 separate hit-and-run accidents. And then was involved in this accident here," said Cpl. Edwin Ritter of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Police say the driver and passenger in the tractor-trailer were not injured, and the drivers of the two other vehicles complained of back pain and refused medical treatment.

Snider complained of injuries and was taken to an area hospital. He was later taken to the Gwinnett County Jail. A judge denied to grant him bond on Thursday afternoon.  Police say he faces numerous charges, including vehicular homicide, reckless driving, DUI and several counts of hit-and-run.  A preliminary hearing for Snider is set for February 1 at 1 :30 p.m.

Neighbors who live near Snider's Stone Mountain home describe him as recluse, and they say he lives alone.

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