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Coroner Identifies Victims of Fiery Vehicle Collision in Franklin County

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The two fatal victims of a fiery traffic collision in Franklin County have been identified. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office revealed their identities on Monday, May 24th, about a week after the occurrence. The victims are 23-year-old Kristian Richardson and 23-year-old Jirreney Colbert, both of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The coroner’s office also identified the third occupant of the crashed 2017 Jeep Wrangler as Kiara Rogers of Greenville, North Carolina. The woman rode in the front passenger seat, and passersby rescued her moments before the Jeep burst into flames in the collision in Franklin County. Coroner Scott O’Barr said Richardson and Colbert died from traumatic injuries.

O’Barr said the women’s bodies were burnt beyond recognition, and the medical examiner’s office in Atlanta had to use dental records to make positive identification. He disclosed that the women were on their way home from a weekend trip to Atlanta when the accident happened.

The accident that killed the two women occurred on Sunday, May 16th, on Interstate 85. It happened at Mile Marker 160 just past the Highway 51-Old Federal Road Bridge. Their Jeep Wrangler was northbound when it collided with an 18-wheeler that stopped in the left-hand lane.

Corporal William Jordan of the Georgia State Patrol said that the driver could not swerve in time to avoid a collision although the Jeep traveled at interstate speed.

The front left-hand side of the Jeep then collided with the back right-hand side of the trailer. The driver of the tractor-trailer, identified as Martin Meija of Clarkston, Georgia, was uninjured. The state patrol said the driver stopped because of backup from roadwork ahead. He was not charged.

Motor vehicle collisions remain one of the leading causes of death of United States citizens. Find out the steps to take after a traffic collision from our Georgia car accident lawyers.


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