The driver who DeKalb Police believe caused a fatal crash on Stone Mountain Freeway on Oct. 13, has been charged with three counts of vehicular homicide in the second degree and with improper lane change. All charges are misdemeanors.
James Miles, 55, of Loganville, turned himself in to DeKalb County police on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The accident happened during rush hour in the eastbound lanes near the Memorial Drive exit.
Miles told police that traffic stopped suddenly in front of him, and he swerved his Dodge Stratus to the right. According to the police report, witnesses said he clipped the rear of a van carrying Georgia Power and Southern Company employees. The impact caused the driver of the van to lose control of the vehicle, which overturned several times before coming to rest on its side.
The driver of the van and two passengers were killed. The driver was Robert Harold Clinton Jr., 60, and the passengers who died were Ollie Benny Stephens Jr., 49, and Cindy Fitzgerald, 54.
The other six victims were taken to Atlanta area hospitals. Sandra Bonner, 52, of Lilburn; and Wanna Philpot, 66, of Stone Mountain; and Courtney Singleton-Hill, 25, of Lilburn, have been released from Grady according to a hospital spokeswoman. Chris Ellis, 56, of Lawrenceville; and Gary Davis, 51, of Stone Mountain have been released from Atlanta Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman. The status of the sixth victim, Keith Reese, 51, of Lawrenceville, could not be confirmed.
According to the police report, Miles told police he spun and hit the median wall but did not believe he hit another vehicle. There was damage to the right front of Miles’ car and to the left rear of the van, police said.
Witnesses also told police they saw Miles changing lanes in and out of traffic before the accident.