Traffic was backed up on I-20 for several hours Friday night after a crash that killed 42-year-old Brian Wells of Birmingham.

Mitch Sneed / Editor

A Birmingham man was killed in a violent crash along I-20 late Friday night and officials suspect alcohol may be involved.

Gordy Wright of the Georgia State Patrol said that at about 11 p.m. a bobtail truck, a semi without a trailer, was traveling west on I-20 near mile marker 33. The truck was driven by Brian E. Wells, 42, of Birmingham.

Investigators say that the truck left the roadway onto the shoulder, hit a guardrail, then careened into several trees along the north side of the road. The truck overturned before it came to rest in the wooded are adjacent to I-20.

Wells was pronounced dead at the scene and Wright said that he was not wearing a seatbelt and "alcohol is suspected."

Traffic was brought to a halt while the investigators and emergency personnel worked to free the victim and clear the wreckage. Traffic backed up the three miles back to the Highway 5 interchange. Many drivers opted to exit and reroute along Highway 78 to Post Road to avoid the stoppage.

Just after midnight one left lane was opened and it was after 3 a.m. when all lanes were re-opened to traffic.

It was the second fatal crtash in the area Friday.

A 70-year-old woman was killed in a three-car accident Friday, which left two others injured.

Jean A. Laltrello, of Rockmart, was pronounced dead at the scene, which occurred around 11 a.m. on Rockmart Road (Georgia State Road 101) in Villa Rica.

One of the first responders on the scene reported an "obvious fatality" to the dispatcher.

A 1997 Ford F-350, pulling a horse trailer, was traveling northbound on Rockmart Road preparing to make a left turn into a driveway when it was hit by a 2004 Dodge Ram in the rear.

The Dodge Ram then crossed over into the southbound lane and hit a 2005 Mercedes Benz, driven by Laltrello, head on.

The Dodge Ram was driven by 24-year-old Dallas man Christopher L. McIntyre, with 21-year-old William Thomas McCorkle, of Douglasville, in the passenger seat.

McIntyre and McCorkle were treated on the scene for their injuries. Temple resident Sheri Evelyn Bryce, 41 — the driver of the F-350 pulling the horse trailer — was not injured in the accident.

Gordy Wright, public information officer for Georgia State Patrol, said the patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) is investigating the crashes.

Charges are pending, Wright said.

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