The two drivers involved in a head-on, wrong-way wreck earlier this week on Ga. 400 in north Forsyth remain hospitalized, authorities said.
A third injured person, a passenger in one of the vehicles, has since been treated and released from an area hospital.
The collision occurred about 11 p.m. Tuesday at Ga. 400 and Jot Em Down Road, along a stretch of the highway that authorities acknowledged can be confusing and problematic.
Forsyth County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Shelton said it’s not uncommon for drivers in that area to end up heading in the wrong direction on Ga. 400.
That’s due in part, he said, because the Dawson Forest Road crossing to the north of where the wreck occurred is not well lit and access to the highway is “uncontrolled.”
“That’s where you simply enter or exit a roadway where you can, versus an off-ramp, that’s controlled access,” Shelton explained.
He noted that most drivers realize they are heading the wrong way before a crash occurs.
As a result of Tuesday’s wreck, Shelton said 30-year-old Anthony Paul Chambers of Alpharetta likely will be charged in connection with the incident.
Among the charges he could face are driving on the wrong side of the road, inattentive driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.
Chambers was flown to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta after his 2011 Hyundai Elantra collided with a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, driven by 50-year-old Bonnie Lynn Daws of Dawsonville.
She and her passenger, Sharon Potocki, 24, were taken to North Fulton Hospital in Roswell. Shelton said Potocki has since been released.
The conditions of Chambers and Daws could not be determined Thursday afternoon.
According to Shelton, the trouble began Tuesday after Chambers turned off Dawson Forest Road onto Ga. 400. He headed south in the left lane of the northbound side of the road.
Shelton said some Dawson County Sheriff’s deputies saw that Chambers was going in the wrong direction. They attempted to stop him, but couldn’t do so before the wreck.
Chambers and the driver of the Sonata, who was traveling north on Ga. 400 north, realized the error at the last minute and attempted to avoid a collision, Shelton said.
“She saw the car and started to go left to avoid the crash and he saw the car as he was going southbound and tried to go right to avoid the crash and they met in the middle,” Shelton said.
He noted that Chambers was not wearing a seatbelt, but the other driver and her passenger were.
“He’s lucky to be alive and so is the other driver,” Shelton said. “Both of them are extremely fortunate to be alive.”
Forsyth County resident Jim Garrett said news of the wreck caught his attention.
One night about six months ago, he found himself in a similar predicament as he attempted to turn onto Ga. 400 from Crossroads Road.
Garrett explained that at the time he was traveling west on Crossroads. As he entered the intersection, he struggled to see the lines indicating where he could turn left onto Ga. 400.
He said as he edged over, looking for the proper lane, he realized there was a car coming straight at him.
“As they come at you they’re below grade so as they come up that slight rise, there they are right in front of you and I clipped him with my left front fender,” Garrett said.
“I of course got a ticket because I was in his lane. I couldn’t tell. There was no striping on that road and I couldn’t see.”
Shortly after the wreck, “another car coming eastbound toward 400 came up over the rise and I don’t know what they did, they got confused or scared with all the flashing lights, but they turned northbound on 400 in the wrong lane.”
He said a deputy went after the vehicle and alerted the driver to turn around.