A Cumming teenager is dead and her co-worker was hospitalized after a single-vehicle wreck early Monday on Old Atlanta Road in south Forsyth.
Forsyth County Sheriff's Sgt. Chris Shelton said speed may have been a factor in the incident, which likely occurred after midnight but was not discovered until about 7 a.m.
Sheriff's Capt. Frank Huggins said the driver, 17-year-old Diana Rebecca Lora of Timberlake Drive, was found dead behind the wheel of a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro.
A passenger, 30-year-old Silvestre Grimaldo-Tovar of Castleberry Road in Cumming, was found lying near the vehicle, Huggins said.
Grimaldo-Tovar is in the critical care unit at North Fulton Hospital, where he is in stable condition, according to hospital staff.
Shelton said Grimaldo-Tovar suffered broken bones and some cuts, but nothing life threatening.
A passer-by called 911 about 7 a.m. Monday after discovering the vehicle in a wooded area near Ivy Falls Drive.
“The car was concealed from the road by pine trees,” said Shelton, adding that the passer-by could hear Grimaldo-Tovar calling out for help.
Huggins said Lora and Grimaldo-Tovar worked Sunday night at Chepe’s Mexican Grill on Peachtree Parkway, where Lora was a hostess and Grimaldo-Tovar a prep cook.
Shelton said it appeared Lora was driving fast and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to run off the road into a wooded area.
The car belongs to Grimaldo-Tovar, Shelton said. A toxicology report, standard procedure in such cases, is pending.
The speed limit on that stretch of Old Atlanta Road is 50 mph, said Shelton, who estimated the vehicle was traveling at least 60 mph.
"It definitely was above the posted speed limit," he said. "The vehicle rolled four times, so we're going to put some crash data together."
Because he was not wearing a seat belt, Grimaldo-Tovar was thrown from the car, Shelton said. Lora was wearing a seat belt, but the impact was on her side.
Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer Caracciolo said Lora was a student at the Forsyth Academy @ Night. She previously attended Forsyth Central High School.
"The students and staff at both [schools] are sending their thoughts and prayers to Diana’s family and friends during this difficult time," Caracciolo said.
Chepe's manager Lucas Mejia worked Sunday night with Lora and Grimaldo-Tovar.
Mejia said Lora would often drive Grimaldo-Tovar home after work.
"She was just taking Silvestre home when all of these horrible things happened," he said. "She was very sweet. She always looked happy."
Mejia said he hired Lora nearly a year ago. He said she was a valuable asset to the eatery because she was bilingual and "a big smiler."
"She was always on time," he said.
Mejia said was working to support her daughter, who is less than 1 year old.
"She was a good girl," he said. "She was a part-time [worker] and she became full time. She was excited about it."
As of Tuesday afternoon, funeral arrangements were incomplete.