Fatal crash on Dallas Acworth Highway

Detail of Cobb County Police Department STEP Unit vehicle in article about fatal accident on I-75Detail 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 crash that occurred on Dallas Acworth Highway south of Autumn View Drive on Saturday, January 1, 2022, at 2:26 a.m.

[The Cobb County Courier has a policy of withholding or redacting the name of suspects unless and until the person is convicted in a court of law or enters a plea of guilty. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty, and the internet has no effective way of removing reports of arrest if the person is exonerated. We do make exceptions in high-profile cases or charges against public officials where exoneration is likely to be as widely publicized as the initial arrest]

The public information release described the incident as follows:

Per investigators, a white 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe, driven by 30-year-old [name redacted by the Courier] of Dallas, was southbound on Dallas Acworth Highway south of Autumn View Drive. 22-year-old Berenice Sanchez of Dallas was a passenger in the vehicle.

A white 2011 2011 Ford Escape, driven by 22-year-old Khalil Wilson of Acworth, was southbound on Dallas Acworth Highway in front of the Hyundai. 22-year-old Camryn Currie of Dallas was a passenger in the Ford.

A black 2012 Ford Focus, driven by 30-year-old Jermain Wilkins of Cartersville, was northbound on Dallas Acworth Highway approaching Autumn View Drive.

[name redacted by the Courier] attempted to pass the Escape by driving southbound in the northbound lane. The front of the Hyundai crashed into the front of the Focus. The Focus came to rest on the eastern shoulder of Dallas Acworth Highway. The Hyundai continued southbound as it began to spin in a counter clockwise direction. The right rear corner of the Hyundai then crashed into the left side of the Ford Escape before continuing south and coming to rest in the southbound lane of Dallas Acworth Highway.

Wilson stopped the Ford Escape on Dallas Acworth Highway south of the Hyundai. Wilson and his passenger, Currie, were not injured.

Wilkins (Ford Focus) was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Cobb County Medical Examiner.

[name redacted by the Courier] and Sanchez (Hyundai Santa Fe) were transported by ambulance Kennestone Hospital with serious injuries. [name redacted by the Courier] was admitted to the hospital but has been charged with First Degree Vehicular Homicide, Driving Under the Influence, and Improper Passing.

This collision remains under investigation and anyone with information is requested to contact the Cobb County Police Department at 770-499-3987.

Next of kin has been notified.

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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