Alcohol may have played a role in a Wednesday night fatal wreck in Oakwood, with one witness telling authorities that she had seen the driver drinking earlier at a nearby restaurant.
John Keith Morrow, 49, of Clermont, was driving a Chevrolet Silverado west in the right lane on Ga. 53/Mundy Mill Road when he ran a red light at Thurmon Tanner Parkway, said Trooper 1st Class Jonathan Munger, Georgia State Patrol spokesman.
David Arnold Evans, 53, of Cornelia, driving a 1994 Freightliner east on Mundy Mill and turning left on Thurmon Tanner, struck the Silverado, which rotated clockwise until it faced west on Thurmon Tanner.
Morrow was pronounced dead at the scene, Munger said.
“There was a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from (Morrow) and the vehicle,” Munger said. “There were numerous open containers in the vehicle.
“Also, numerous witnesses reported his driving conditions prior to the crash. A particular witness stated that she had observed him consuming alcohol prior to the crash.”
Witnesses spoke to Oakwood police, who arrived at the scene before GSP and later relayed the witness reports to GSP.
One witness told authorities she had tried to get Morrow’s license plate number when the driver left the parking lot at Buffalo’s Southwest Cafe off Ga. 53/Winder Highway..
“He was drinking at the restaurant. He began to be rude to the customers, rude to the waitresses,” Munger said, giving the witness’ account. “They asked him to leave and he aggressively left the scene. The waitress tried to get his tag number and was unable to do so ... due to his aggressive driving manner.”
The waitress left the restaurant a short time later and passed by the crash, Munger said.
Oakwood Police Chief Randall Moon said he didn’t have a written statement from the witness but that he would look into her account further.
The Buffalo’s supervisor on duty at the time of the incident couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
Morrow’s blood is being tested for alcohol content at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Decatur, Munger said.
Evans was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center “for nonincapacitating injuries and is expected to recover,” he said.
Hospital officials said Thursday they did not have a record of him still at the hospital.