Local woman charged in Atlanta accident

Published 6:27 am Monday, July 8, 2013

A Bainbridge woman was charged in connection with a fatal accident that happened on the Downtown Connector in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday afternoon, according to the Atlanta Police Department.

According to information provided to the media, the accident happened at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on I-75/I-85 Northbound.

The media release stated that Sandra Palmer Cottles, 58, of Bainbridge, was just south of the 17th Street bridge when she hit the rear fender of another vehicle in the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle, or “carpool”) lane. The car spun and overturned, causing two people to be ejected. The car’s driver died at the scene, while the remaining passengers were transported to Grady Hospital in Atlanta.

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Cottles was not injured. However, Atlanta police charged her with homicide by vehicle in the second degree and failure to maintain lane.

Cottles was taken to the Fulton County Jail and later released on a bail bond.

Georgia state law defines second-degree vehicular homicide as causing the death of another person, without intent to do so, by committing a traffic violation that caused the death. Second-degree vehicular homcide is classified as a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.

However, a judge has the option to sentence those convicted of the crime to probation.

Repeated attempts to obtain additional information from the Atlanta Police Department were unsuccessful, as of press time.