Driver in I-85 car-bus wreck charged with hit and run, DUI; three critically hurt

Posted December 23, 2009 By Larry Hartstein, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution   bus accident  A 32-year-old Lawrenceville woman has been charged with felony hit and run and DUI in an Interstate 85 crash that injured 13 developmentally disabled adults and their bus driver Wednesday.   Joy Christine Wilson was being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail. Additional charges are expected.   Witnesses told police Wilson was driving erratically, changing lanes frequently to bypass cars, before causing the 11:45 a.m. wreck in the northbound lanes just north of Pleasant Hill Road. Her black 1999 Honda Accord hit the back of a small bus operated by Norcross-based Just People Inc., and the bus lost control, police said. The bus skidded across several lanes and flipped on its side before colliding with the guardrail and righting itself.   The wreck shut down I-85 northbound for about three hours and left three people in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, nine others with serious injuries and two with minor injuries.   Five passengers were ejected. One was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center. Most of the injured were taken to Gwinnett Medical Center.   Wilson pulled over briefly following the accident, but left before police arrived, Gwinnett police spokesman Officer Brian Kelly said. An hour later she was apprehended as she attempted to return to the scene.   A family member, said Kelly, convinced her to turn herself in. At the same time, police found her car in an unincorporated area of Lawrenceville.   “Wilson was taken into custody at Satellite and Steve Reynolds Boulevard,” said Kelly.   According to its Web site, Just People “provides a wide variety of support services to adults with developmental disabilities.”   The bus was taking “special-needs individuals to an art class in Hoschton,” said Kelly.   The person answering the phone at the Just People office Wednesday afternoon said the agency had no comment on the wreck.

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