published Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Deadly Catoosa crash still under investigation

The Georgia State Patrol is still investigating whether the driver should be charged in the crash on Interstate 75 that killed all three passengers Sunday morning.

When 30-year-old Alendrea Dias, of Dalton, swerved onto the lefthand shoulder of the interstate about 5:30 a.m., she flipped the Ford Explorer when she overcorrected, said State Trooper Cpl. Kris Hemphill.

Deany Arreguin, 40, and Marcial Gonzalez-Solis, 27, of Dalton, and Hector Jose Perez-Garcia, 30, of Chattanooga, were all thrown from the vehicle as it rolled several times, traveling about 600 feet, Hemphill said.

A tractor-trailer traveling behind them tried to avoid the debris, but struck one of the passengers lying on the highway, he said.

So far no one has been charged in the accident, but the state patrol’s collision reconstruction team is still investigating whether Dias could face charges, Hemphill said.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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