By HAYLEY MASON, JOYCE LUPIANI
ATLANTA (WGCL) — A woman was seriously injured after she was “launched” off an overpass on Interstate 85 at approximately 4:05 p.m. Oct. 4 as a result of possible street racing, according to Georgia State Patrol.
According to GSP, Leslie Reese was standing outside of her car, which had broken down, in the emergency lane on I-85 where the interstate crosses over Piedmont Avenue. A car driven by Horace Maurice Dillard Jr. struck a Kia Optima, causing that driver to lose to control and travel into the right emergency lane.
Dillard’s car then reportedly hit the Chevrolet Cruz driven by Reese, which resulted in her being launched off the bridge and landing on a lawn on Plasters Avenue NE at Armour Drive in the Buckhead area.
Reese was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital with serious injuries. Her father spoke with CBS46 Thursday after meeting with his daughter.
“She broke her pelvis, her femur, and her tibula. They had to sew her lip back together and she lost her teeth, said Irving Reese. He says doctors tell him it could be three months before his daughter can sit up or begin walking again. “Her faith, our faith is what’s keeping her strong,” Reese said.
Reese says his daughter was on the phone with her roommate waiting on her to come help her with her disabled vehicle when she was struck.
“She was on the phone with her when it happened,” Reese said about the conversation between his daughter and her friend Savannah. Leslie’s roommate made the call to inform Leslie’s parents. “She said Leslie got knocked off the bridge. She was on the phone screaming and she heard her hit the ground.”
Dillard, who was driving a Chevrolet Camaro, was arrested and charged with Serious Injury By Vehicle, Seat Belt Violation, Improper/Erratic Lane Change, Reckless Driving, Driving Too Fast for Conditions, Failure to Signal lane Change or Turn, Defective Tires and Speeding. Dillard’s bail has been set at $195,000.
“It was you know just somebody innocent there. This could be anybody with a flat tire or somebody who’d run out of gas,” said Lt. Mark Riley with GSP. “We don’t anyone to get injured or hurt or killed with all this street racing,” Riley added.
Reese said he’s glad his daughter was standing outside her car when they crash happened because her back seat crushed the front seat of the car on impact.
“I’m angry with him, but I’m going to pray for him,” Reese said about the suspected street racer. “I hope anybody out there that’s watching this and doing this drag racing that they understand you can take somebody’s life; it’s not a game.”
Reese’s family set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the unexpected medical costs.
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