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Woman dies in crash

BUFORD - A 28-year-old woman died from injuries sustained Thursday night in a head-on collision on Buford Dam Road, Gwinnett County police said.

Ashley Ann Rinaldi, a Cumming resident, was driving a 1998 Honda Accord at about 10 p.m. Thursday on Buford Dam Road. A preliminary investigation indicates the Honda crossed the road's center lines near Sycamore Road and struck a 1995 Ford Crown Victoria head-on, Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Illana Spellman said in a news release.

Rinaldi sustained serious injuries and was taken to Northside Medical Center, Spellman said. She later died from her injuries.

The driver of the Ford, 53-year-old Philip Woodrow Hayes of Buford, was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center with injuries that were not life threatening, Spellman said.

There were no passengers in either vehicle. It is unknown if the motorists were wearing seat belts, Spellman said.

"It is still early in the investigation," Spellman said Friday. "The investigator will have to use investigative techniques to try and determine whether the drivers were wearing their seat belts. That has yet to be determined."

Accident investigators are also working to determine why the Honda crossed the center lines. Neither drugs nor alcohol appear to be factors in the incident, Spellman said.

"This is still an active investigation, so the investigator will have to speak with the family and study the accident scene to determine exactly why she crossed the center line," Spellman said.

Rinaldi's death marks the 65th traffic fatality this year, Spellman said. That's 20 fewer than last year, which ended with 85 deaths related to traffic.