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2 drivers charged with racing in Monday wreck that killed teen

A 17-year-old passenger was killed late Monday night in a wreck that authorities say stemmed from racing on Millside Parkway off Mundy Mill Road in Gainesville. Two drivers are facing charges.

Jesus Martinez of Oakwood died in the wreck after the car he was a passenger in lost control about 11:45 p.m. Monday, Gainesville Police Sgt. Kevin Holbrook wrote in a news release. Martinez was a student at West Hall High School, according to a Hall County Schools news release.

Jesus Martinez 2017
Jesus Martinez

Brandon Eduardo Sanchez, 18, of Gainesville, was driving southbound with Martinez as his passenger on Millside Parkway. Sanchez was “racing another vehicle when he lost control, crossed the median and struck a tree,” according to police. Authorities said Kevin A. Padilla Alvarez, 17, was driving the vehicle racing Sanchez.

West Hall Principal Scott Justus announced that any student needing to speak to a counselor could come to the counselors’ office during the day Tuesday. Justus said Martinez was a very popular student.

Sanchez was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in stable condition and released.

“This is a sad reminder that speed and careless driving are a deadly mix,” Holbrook wrote.

Sanchez has been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, racing, failure to maintain lane, striking a fixed object and violation of a learner's permit. He was booked in to the Hall County Jail, where he is being held.

Alvarez faces charges of party to first-degree vehicular homicide, racing and reckless driving. Holbrook said Alvarez is in custody at the Hall County Jail.

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