As of Tuesday, October 2, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE -- When South Carolina resident Latora Barrett was arrested on vehicular homicide charges in the wake of a fatal crash last week, it wasn't the first time he was charged with illegally driving a tractor-trailer in Gwinnett.
Gwinnett County Police Department records show Barrett was charged last October with driving a tractor-trailer with a suspended commercial drivers license after an officer had pulled him over on Pleasant Hill Road for a malfunctioning tail light. Charges related to prescription pills found in the truck's cabin were later dropped, records show.
Barrett, 34, was charged Thursday with vehicular homicide and failure to yield in a crash that killed 68-year-old Dacula resident Anvir Karim that morning. Both charges are misdemeanors.
The two-vehicle accident happened about 6:30 a.m. on Ga. Highway 316 at Hurricane Trail Road near Lawrenceville. The 1997 Nissan Maxima that Karim was driving became wedged beneath the tractor trailer. He was extricated but later died at a local hospital.
Investigators believe Barrett, of Columbia, S.C., was headed east on the highway and turned the tractor-trailer left onto Hurricane Trail in front of Karim, who could not avoid impact.
Dacula resident Patricia Arland frequently travels the stretch of Ga. Highway 316 where the collision occurred. She said big rigs turning into an industrial park in that area create a common hazard for drivers headed in the other direction.
"The semis seem to have no regard for the traffic coming down (the highway)," Arland said in an email. "If they want to turn, they do it ... It doesn't matter how much traffic is coming."