Police: Alleged drunk driver causes 15 crashes, 1 fatal

Michael Snider

Michael Snider

LAWRENCEVILLE — Police believe 70-year-old Michael Owen Snider is responsible for a series of hit-and-run crashes that spanned two counties Wednesday night, a series that ended when a five-car pile-up in Snellville claimed the life of a Loganville woman and left another victim critically injured.

Jail records show Snider, a Stone Mountain resident, was booked into the Gwinnett County jail at about 12:05 a.m. Thursday and charged with driving under the influence, vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, following too closely and reckless driving. Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said even more charges are pending.

According to authorities, Snider and his 2006 Ford Super Duty pickup caused five hit-and-run accidents in DeKalb County Wednesday evening before continuing into Gwinnett and causing approximately 10 more.

The rampage came to an end when Snider careened into the front of Johnboy’s Home Cooking restaurant at U.S. Highway 78 and Walton Court in Snellville, just minutes after allegedly causing the five-vehicle crash that has claimed at least one life.

Ritter said that, at that point, Snider was headed eastbound on U.S. Highway 78 when he struck the rear of the Toyota Camry being driven by 51-year-old Grayson resident Yeshihareg Abebe.

“The impact of the collision caused the Toyota to strike a stopped vehicle in front of it and become wedged under the trailer of a tractor-trailer that was stopped to the left of it,” Ritter said.

The “stopped vehicle” then hit another car, while Snider veered off the road, through a parking lot and into the restaurant front. All that happened at about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday.

The passenger in the Toyota, 69-year-old Mintiwab Woldeyhans of Loganville, died on the scene from injuries sustained in the collision. The driver of the Toyota, who was not identified, suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital, Ritter said.

Before being arrested, Snider complained of injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment, Ritter said.

Snider is being held without bond. An incident report with more details was not yet available Thursday morning.


InTheKno 1 year, 3 months ago

17 assaults (intentional vehicle crashes) with a deadly weapon (2500 lb. truck) resulting in one serious injury and a homicide (vehicular). Society should and will deal with this offender. We should not consider taking vehicles away from law-abiding citizens nor reinstituting Prohibition against those who drink 'responsibly'.

This horrible incident is the sole responsibility of the driver. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims.


notblind 1 year, 3 months ago

We need to enact harsh penalties for anyone that attempts to elude at high speed on our roadways. Even if they don't touch another vehicle or pedestrian they should still do a long [ 20 years or more ] sentence with no parole. This is the only way to get these people off our streets.


NewsReader 1 year, 3 months ago

Now now, this gentleman is just misunderstood. He is not to blame for his actions. Vehicles are very dangerous indeed. They should be outlawed. One single death by a motor vehicle is one too many. It is a dangerous weapon that needs to be controlled.


Jan 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes, I read your ridiculous attempt at satire. My thoughts: If this man had a license, why? What was his alcohol level? Just as we should keep guns out of the hands of criminal and serious mental illness elements, we should keep cars out of the hands of the intoxicated and incompetent drivers. This in no way suggests banning all guns or all cars.


Cleanupguy 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree - definitely not the sharpest crayon in the box.


MarshallAmpMan1 1 year, 3 months ago

When someone shoots a bunch of people with a military style weapon, at the very least they were doing what the weapon was intended for. (Be it legal or not) Cars at least serve a dual purpose. Why the hell would you ban cars? To kill someone with a car either qualifies as a negligent misuse or an accident. To kill several or more people with an assault weapon and high capacity clip is using it for its original intended purpose. Why is it we would ban cars again? If you hand out live grenades, dynamite and RPGs on the streets people would start dragging those into theaters, schools and malls too. Good thing we don't hand out live grenades, dynamite and RPGs!


NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't know what to say MarshallAmpMan1. Just can't get anything past you can we? At least Jan got it. I'm stunned, but he did get it.


NewsReader 1 year, 2 months ago

LOL, obviously Cleanupguy didn't though. You two propping one another up. That is just so special.


skygirl 1 year, 2 months ago

Your logic is flawed sir. Intentionally ramming someone or driving through a crowd of people or running over your cheating spouse are all crimes; felonys; i.e. aggravated assault or aggravated battery. Your use of the terms negligent or accident are civil issues, not criminal and not applicable here. Are the poor souls less dead if they are killed by an automobile, baseball bat, steak knife, gasoline & match than if they are killed by a gun? All of these things are inanimate objects that do nothing by themselves.


MarshallAmpMan1 1 year, 2 months ago

Are you telling me these other items don't have any other purpose? So a baseball bat is not for baseball, a steak knife isn't for cutting steak or food and gasoline isn't for powering engines, matches aren't for lighting a fire and cars aren't for transporting humans? What were assault rifles intended for personal protection? If you did ban assault weapons for civilian ownership what dual purpose would society be missing out on in the same way as the other items?


Kat 1 year, 2 months ago

They haven't published what this man's blood alcohol level was.Perhaps because he was taken to the hospital and they did a blood draw there. There is the remote possibility that he had a medical issue and wasn't intoxicated. This is a horrible tragedy all around. This man also has a family who is devastated by what happened.


JamesRivers50 1 year, 2 months ago

at his age I think its safe to say he will never get out or prison to hurt anyone again


Mack711 1 year, 2 months ago

The question is: What took so long to stop him? After all he went into 2 counties.


Jan 1 year, 2 months ago

Insufficient police presence due to budget cuts. That is one of the problems when we vote in leaders that will do anything to avoid the necessity a tax increase.


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