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Witnesses: Truck Driver Ran Red Light Before Collision Killing Smyrna Woman

The collision killed a Smyrna woman and her Atlanta passenger.

Witnesses said that the driver of a tractor trailer ran a red light at Thornton Road in Douglas County before colliding with a Nissan Sentra and her Atlanta passenger, WSB reported.

Michelle Kamika Chinnis, 35, from Smyrna, was the driver of the Nissan and died after being extricated; and Tracy P. Downer, 44, from Atlanta was the passenger in the Nissan and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The truck driver is identified as Robert John Sansom, 64, from Colorado. He was not injured. Fifteen other people sustained injuries.

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Sydney Busby (Editor) July 14, 2012 at 03:50 AM
This comment has been deleted because the poster used inappropriate language. Please refer to Patch terms of use for more information. Anyone with questions about the terms can email the editor at sydney.busby@patch.com
Jerri July 15, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I am disgusted by Woody's comments above. My friend, Tracy, was killed in this accident. The driver of the car had the green light. The truck driver had a RED light. to blame them for "chatting on their cell phones, oblivious to traffic" and then to say "Kaput". Seriously! Please consider the people who are reading these posts. Tracy leaves behind a husband and two kids (ages 9 and 7) and Michelle leaves behind a teenage daughter. It was the truck driver's fault that this accident happens. If you blame anyone for being oblivious, blame the one who caused the accidents and not these innocent victims!!!!!
Richard Steiner July 15, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Wouldn't it be better to block/delete the language in question but keep the remainder of the message?
Freya Stark July 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Sorry to hear it was your friend that was in that accident. Condolences to both families. That comment angered me also. I felt it blamed the victims. I decided I was going to post a comment. My sister was in a similar accident. But it was a stop sign and the truck that hit her wasn't an 18 wheeler. She got banged up and had to buy another car but she walked away from the accident. She's a cautious driver but how was she to know that truck had no intentions of stopping. Mr. Hiatt's comment was out of line. An apology would be nice.
Sydney Busby (Editor) July 15, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Hi Richard, that's a good question, but editors aren't able to edit specific language in comments. I can only delete the comment altogether. The person who posted the comment is welcome to come back and rephrase it.
Justin Tom July 15, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Maybe posting a comment on his FB page would let others know of his lack of tact. A simple google will do the trick.
Tammy Walston July 16, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I cannot tell you how many tractor trailer drivers I see talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel, trying to turn a corner in that rig with one hand because the other hand has to hold the cell. I am so very sorry for the deceased's families and any of the other victims of the accident. I wish our state and local governments would focus on driver safety (commercial and personal) for a change.
njones July 17, 2012 at 02:19 AM
I HAD THE RARE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH THE FAMILY TODAY INCLUDING THE LITTLE GIRL AND HER BROTHER... MY THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEM AND THE ENTIRE WONDERFUL SUPPORT SYSTEM THAT SURRONDS THEM... SHE (the little girl) is so strong and brave, I was truly humbled today.. god bless.. njones
havesomerespect July 26, 2012 at 12:49 AM
I can't believe I'm even commenting. Tracy was one of my best friends. To even acknowledge such rude and ridiculous comments is not my nature, but I will say, she was going to work - earning a living for her beautiful family. They were not chatty teenagers. They were out on a sales call and were hit by a man who ran a red light. Tracy's friends pray for the man that hit her and killed her, because it was all an accident. A terrible, tragic accident. But to assume that my friend was chatting on her cell while this all happened is offensive. Tracy was a responsible, dedicated mother, wife and friend. She is and will always be missed. She was a bright light in this world. I'm sorry you never knew her. You might have left a different kind of comment.
Woody J July 26, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I regret that post. It was stupidly thought out and inappropriate in the circumstances. I got angry that the accident did occur. I remember long ago a person told me that a Green light said Go, but it didn't mean it was safe to go. And these days, I see unsafe and distracted driving by drivers with cellphones up to their ear on in their lap, I fear for someones future. It's difficult to apologize after one jumps off a cliff. There is no way. I am sorry for the improper comments. Please forgive me.
Pete Hefele July 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
A rock falling through your windshield is an accident; a tree falling on your vehicle is an accident. running a red light or talking on cell phones (DISTRACTED DRIVING) is NO ACCIDENT. My condolences to the families left behind but today it's a war zone driving out there. REMEMBER ALL- there is no reset in life.

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