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Cops: 'No reason to believe' Grayson teen was drunk during fatal wreck

GRAYSON -- Gwinnett County police reiterated Wednesday that investigators had "no reason to believe" that the Grayson teen behind the wheel during a fatal accident over the weekend had been drinking.

Hope McKenzie, 17, was driving just after 10 p.m. Saturday night when her Toyota Tercel crossed the center line on Webb Gin House Road, sideswiping one vehicle before spinning out of control and striking a third car. McKenzie, a student at Grayson High School, and 19-year-old passenger Austin Rogers, a coworker and friend, died from injuries sustained in the accident.

While the driver of the third vehicle was later charged with driving under the influence, his actions are not believed to be a contributing factor in the wreck.

"There is no reason to believe (McKenzie) was under the influence," Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said, "and at this point (investigators) don't believe that alcohol is a contributing cause. We never said that it was or that (McKenzie) was believed to be under the influence."

Previous reports from other media outlets reported a police suspicion that alcohol may have been involved.

On Tuesday, hundreds of friends, family and classmates gathered at Grayson High School for a candlelight vigil in remembrance of McKenzie and Rogers. About 100 attendees spoke to the crowd over a span of nearly two hours.