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Flowery Branch 5-year-old dies in 3-car crash at Athens Highway

A 5-year-old from Flowery Branch died Saturday night in a three-vehicle crash near Smallwood Road and Athens Highway in South Hall, according to the Georgia State Patrol. 

Five adults in the wreck received minor injuries. 

The girl was identified as Tania Sanchez-Fierros, a passenger in a Honda Odyssey minivan that crashed around 10 p.m. Aug. 29 and was driven by Sandra Fierros Nunez, 42, of Flowery Branch, Cpl. Josh Hedden, assistant post commander of GSP Post 6 in Gainesville, said. She was pronounced dead in the early hours of Sunday, deputy coroner Kevin Wetzel told The Times, adding that the driver was the girl’s grandmother. Samanth Sanchez Fierros, 22, of Flowery Branch was also a passenger. 

Tania was a kindergarten student at World Language Academy. In response to the 5-year-old's death, Hall County Schools offered a statement to The Times on Monday, Aug. 31.  

“We are deeply saddened over the loss of one of our kindergarten students over the weekend,” the statement read. “The district is providing extra support and counseling to our students and staff in the days ahead as they deal with this tremendous loss. And without question our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this very difficult time.” 

Charges against the driver are pending the completion of the investigation. 

Hedden reported that the minivan was on Smallwood Road, attempting to drive straight across Athens Highway. At the time, two pickup trucks were traveling southbound on Athens Highway.  

When a 2017 Dodge Ram had changed from the left to the right lane, Hedden said the minivan “failed to yield after stopping at the stop sign and continued on Athens Highway.” 

The truck struck the minivan on the driver’s side with its front. Hedden said the minivan rotated counterclockwise and hit the rear of the passenger side of the third vehicle, a 2015 Dodge Ram. 

Hedden said the 2017 Dodge Ram was driven by Alberto Gomez Rivas, 20, of Gainesville, with passenger Jasmine Gomez, 22, of Gainesville. The 2015 Dodge Ram was driven by Luis Caudillo, 20, of Gainesville. 

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