Witness: Flames rapidly devoured van in deadly Georgia crash


SUWANEE, Ga. — A witness to the aftermath of a fiery van crash that killed six people and injured 10 others says that flames grew rapidly as bystanders tried to save the motorists.

The van was carrying 16 people when it crashed and burst into flames Saturday along Interstate 85, northeast of Atlanta, Gwinnett County police said.

Donnie Richeson saw cars in front of him swerving to miss something and then saw the van on fire, he told WSB-TV. A man ran up and started kicking the windshield to get to people inside, he said.

“The fire was just doubling every second it seemed like,” Richeson said.

The 10 injured motorists were taken to metro Atlanta hospitals.

Passersby stopped to pull people from the burning vehicle Saturday evening along I-85 near the Interstate 985 junction, Gwinnett County police Sgt. Michele Pihera said in a statement. The area is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of downtown Atlanta.

Details about the people in the van would be announced in the coming days, Gwinnett County police said

The occupants were members of a sober living group, Gwinnett County police told WXIA-TV on Sunday.

Investigators were working to determine the cause of the crash. Witnesses were asked to call the police department’s accident investigation tip line with any information.

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