20-year-old Dacula woman dies in early morning crash on I-85

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An early morning car crash in Gwinnett County claimed the life of a 20 year-old woman who was trying check on another driver Sunday.

The Gwinnett County Police Department Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the fatality. The accident occurred at about 1 a.m. on I-85 northbound south of Pleasant Hill Road in near Duluth.

According to police department officials, the preliminary investigation shows, a single vehicle accident occurred on I-85 northbound, between a Ford Explorer, driven by 64-year-old Elvester Sykes, of Lawrenceville, and the left median wall. Upon seeing this accident, 20-year-old Kayli Guthrie, of Dacula, stopped her vehicle and exited to check on the driver of the Ford Explorer.

At the same time, 27-year-old Jonathan Gresham of Grayson was approaching the accident scene in the left lane driving a Ford Fusion. Police say Gresham attempted to brake, at which time his vehicle struck the rear of the Ford Explorer and continued between the Ford Explorer and the median wall.

Unfortunately, Guthrie was standing outside of her vehicle directly in the path of Gresham’s vehicle and she was struck by Gresham’s vehicle. She died on the scene as a result of her injuries.

Police say Gresham continued for a half mile before stopping and calling 911.

Both vehicles were impounded to Gwinnett County Police Headquarters for further analysis.

Speed is being investigated as a probable factor, with impairment being investigated as a definite factor.

Elvester Sykes was transported to a local hospital for treatment, but was charged with Driving Under the Influence – Less Safe in relation to his initial traffic accident.

Jonathan Gresham was arrested and charged with Homicide by Vehicle in the First Degree, Reckless Driving, Failure to Drive Within a Single Lane, and Driving Under the Influence – Less Safe.

This is an on-going investigation.

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