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Driver in fatal wrong-way 316 crash identified

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Police have identified the man killed Saturday after driving the wrong way on two of Gwinnett's major thoroughfares, but have yet to determine if alcohol was involved.

Gerson Ambrocio Hernan, 22, of Stockbridge was behind the wheel of his 1997 Honda Civic early Saturday morning as it careened north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85. At about 2:15 a.m., Hernan reportedly merged onto Ga. Highway 316, heading east in the westbound lanes.

"(The driver) failed to maintain his lane and left the roadway towards the center grass median," the Gwinnett County police report said. "(Hernan) drove into the ditch and eventually struck the center median guardrail."

The Civic split in half, with its front end coming to a stop in the westbound lanes and the rear end traveling over the right shoulder guardrail and into a nearby lake. Hernan died at the scene, not far from Gwinnett Technical College, authorities said.

Family of the victim was located and notified on Wednesday, Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said. The initial report said authorities weren't sure if Hernan, who was Guatemalan, had any family in the country.

It was unclear Wednesday if alcohol may have played a factor in the crash. Ted Bailey, chief forensic investigator for the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office, said he was waiting on results from the crime lab.

"Speed and reckless driving appear to be factors in this collision," the incident report said. "A blood test is pending to determine if DUI is a factor."