Truck driver charged in fatal eight vehicle wreck on Ga. Highway 316

Joseph Newson

Police have charged a truck driver involved in a massive eight-vehicle wreck that killed a Winder woman on Ga. Highway 316 near Buford Drive last week.

Joseph Newson, 60, of Jackson, has been charged with following too closely and vehicular homicide, both of which are considered misdemeanors, according to the Gwinnett County jail log.

Newson was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound on Ga. 316 on June 12 at about 3:30 p.m. when traffic around him came to a stop at Hi-Hope Road. According to a preliminary reconstruction of the wreck by Lawrenceville police, Newson’s tractor-trailer may not have stopped.

Lawrenceville police are investigating how the bloody crash happened, but multiple agencies responded to the accident, including Gwinnett County Fire and Rescue and the Gwinnett County Police Department.

When officials arrived on the scene, they found a crash involving six cars, a van and a tractor trailer. One of the cars was stuck under the tractor trailer — and it was on fire.

That car belonged to Eva Jones Wilkerson, 61. She died at the scene.

Nine adults and eight children were injured in the wreck. Officials said 10 people were taken to both Gwinnett Medical Center and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta - Scottish Rite.

Eight of those people were in moderate condition while two were critical.

Lawrenceville police booked Newson into jail Wednesday at 7:33 p.m. He’s being held on $22,400 bond.

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UGA class of 2014 grad working at the Daily Post since November 2016.

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