According to Georgia State Patrol reports, Jean Smith Verneus died in the crash. A gofundme page has been established to help with funeral expenses. On July 19th, Verneus posted a photo with his children and the following comment, “I have traveled about 48 states and I have seen a lot of beautiful places every year so coming home is one of the most beautiful things. Love my beautiful family, everyone is so excited to see their King after about two months on the road, family time now.”
The two-vehicle collision occurred on August 28th, 2020 at approximately 4:50 p.m., I-75 southbound mile marker 293. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, the collision involved a tractor-trailer and a Jeep Cherokee driven by Erica Leerle Taylor of Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. The tractor-trailer was in the right southbound lane. The driver of the Jeep was merging onto I-75 when she lost control of the vehicle. The Jeep struck the right side of the tractor-trailer which caused it to lose control and strike the bridge rail. The impact with the bridge caused damage to the tractor-trailer’s fuel tanks, which caused a fire to ignite. The tractor-trailer and the Jeep came to a final rest on the right shoulder. The driver of the tractor-trailer succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
Taylor is currently being held in the Bartow County Jail on a shoplifting charge. She was booked into the jail Monday.
Georgia State Patrol officials say the investigation is ongoing. Charges, if any, will be pending the outcome.