By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Van plunges off Ga. 400 into Lake Lanier north of Cumming
1WEB out of the hole
Firefighters carry the woman who was injured when her van tumbled into Lake Lanier. - photo by Jim Dean (previous profile)

CUMMING — Traffic on Ga. 400 slowed to a crawl at lunchtime Friday after a suspected DUI driver in a mini-van drove off the highway at a bridge and landed in Lake Lanier.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Nissan van was heading north about 11:45 a.m. when the driver swerved to the left and went off the side just past Bald Ridge Marina Road at Exit 15. 

The vehicle missed the barrier cables, which have a short open section where the bridge begins, and traveled down a steep bank into a shallow cove of the lake. 

It took Forsyth County firefighters about 30 minutes to free the woman, identified as 33-year-old Samantha Silverman of northwest Forsyth, from the wreckage and get her up the embankment and to the road. 

According to the sheriff’s office, Silverman was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville with what were described as moderate to severe injuries. 

She will face a slew of charges in connection with the crash, including driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and failure to maintain lane.

She also faces an outstanding felony warrant for possession of methamphetamine, according to the sheriff’s office.

No one else was in the van except a small dog, which did not appear injured.

Although authorities called an air ambulance to the wreck, it was cancelled.

As it happened in the median, the incident disrupted traffic on both sides of Ga. 400. However, all lanes have since reopened.