Fatal accident on East West Connector near South Hurt Road

Detail of Cobb County Police Department STEP Unit vehicle in article about accident at Cooper Lake RoadDetail of Cobb County Police Department STEP Unit vehicle (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

According to a public information release from Sgt. Wayne Delk of the Cobb County Police Department, the department’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit is investigating a fatal traffic accident on the East West Connector near the South Hurt Road overpass.

The accident occurred early this morning, April 30, 2021 at about 12 a.m.

The public information release describes the incident as follows:

Investigators from Cobb County Police Department’s Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit say that preliminary investigation indicate that 22-year-old Jose Garcia of Powder Springs was westbound on East-West Connector in a white 2021 Toyota RAV-4. The RAV-4 was going through a left curve when it left the roadway into the grass and began to spin before coming back into the roadway, crossing the grass median, and then entering the eastbound lanes.

The Toyota collided with two eastbound vehicles: a gray 2019 KIA Rio, driven by 20-year-old Kiara Waldo of Mableton in the left lane; and a black Mazda 3, driven by 59-year-old Tammy Tatum of Mableton in the right lane. The Toyota began to roll after colliding with the other two vehicles and came to a final stop on its roof in the eastbound lanes.

Mr. Garcia (Toyota) died from injuries he sustained in the crash (he was pronounced deceased at the scene by an investigator from the Cobb County Medical Examiner’s Office).

Mrs. Waldo (KIA) sustained minor injuries and was not transported for medical treatment.

Mrs. Tatum (Mazda) was transported by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

This collision remains under investigation (though investigators do not expect any charges to be filed), and anyone with information is asked to call the STEP Unit at 770-499-3987.

The STEP Unit

The STEP Unit, which investigates serious or fatal traffic crashes, is one of the Cobb County Police Department’s Special Operations units, and is described on the web page of the Cobb County Police Department as follows:

“The Selective Traffic Enforcement Unit is responsible for investigating all fatal traffic crashes, enforcement of traffic laws in those areas which analysis indicates an elevated amount of crashes. They are also responsible for the administration and execution of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program. They also take part in special security details, and investigate crashes involving Department vehicles when requested.”

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