Crash kills two during rush hour

COVINGTON - Two people were killed Thursday morning in a traffic crash on Interstate 20 eastbound, just east of Ga. Highway 11 and near exit 98, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

According to Trooper John Taylor of Conyers Post 46, a 911 call reporting the crash of two vehicles came in about 8:15 a.m. Both drivers - Lara Ashley Potts, 19, of Rutledge and Cullen Broome, 45, of Roswell - were pronounced dead at the scene.

Taylor said a red 2005 Ford Taurus driven by Potts, who was on her way to school in Conyers, was headed westbound on the interstate. "For reasons unknown," he said, she crossed the median, veering into the path of a white 1996 Nissan pickup, causing Broome to strike her vehicle at the passenger side door. The impact caused both vehicles to rotate before coming to rest on the westbound side of the roadway.

"She over-corrected to the left and it caused her to go into a broadside slide," said Trooper Jeremiah Slayton, who is in charge of the investigation into the crash. "No drugs or alcohol are suspected at this time and weather was not a factor. We're awaiting results of toxicology tests."

Rush hour traffic was snarled for about two-and-a-half hours while troopers investigated the crash.

According to Lt. Mark Mitchell, spokesman for the Newton County Sheriff's Office, motorists were rerouted to Ga. Highway 11 and onto U.S. Highway 278 before being allowed back onto I-20 eastbound. He said the NCSO was assisted with traffic control by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.