Single mother killed in 'party bus' wreck

BUFORD - A wrong turn by a bus driver lead to the death of a cab driver, according to reports by police.

Deanne Louise Witten, a 27-year-old single mother from Buford, died Friday when the cab she was driving collided with a "party bus" carrying 30 people, Gwinnett County Police Department Cpl. Darren Moloney said.

After apparently making a wrong turn out of an apartment complex, the driver of the bus, 42-year-old Kevin Holliman of Loganville, attempted to make a U-turn on Mall of Georgia Boulevard about 10:30 p.m. Friday. The bus could not complete the turn and attempted to back up, according to a police report. That's when Witten's 1997 Honda Accord struck the bus.

Moloney said the accident did not occur during the U-turn, but Holliman could face a charge of illegal backing.

At the scene, Holliman passed a breathalizer test, according to the report. Police are still waiting on final tests to determine the charges, but Moloney said misdemeanor traffic charges are pending.

The bus was towed to the Gwinnett Accident Investigation holding lot for an inspection, according to the report.

Cindy Page, owner of Topshelf Party Bus, said Holliman was new to the business but had a commercial driving license for 16 years. She said she was told the cab driver had been speeding, but Moloney would not comment on that.

"We were totally not at fault," she said. "How can you miss it (the bus)? Apparently her eyes weren't on the road."

Ed Gann of Kwik Cab said Witten was a good driver, and he did not know of any safety problems with her. Witten was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

Gann said Witten likely did not see the bus, since its brake lights were not facing her.

Witten, a Boston native, was well-known and liked around the community, and Gann said he was going to post fliers at the bars and hotels, where she frequently provided rides, to seek help for Witten's 4-year-old son.

"She was good at her job and worked great with people," he said. "It's just unbelievable that that could happen. She was a friend. She's going to be sorely missed."

To donate to the fund for Witten's son, call Gann at 678-594-5222.