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#70: Six Haitians Killed in Car Accident in Atlanta (fwd)
From: Jocelyn McCalla <JMcCalla@nchr.org>
Crushed car may have stopped
By Brad Schrade, The Atlanta
The Nissan Sentra crushed by a
tractor-trailer on a Ga. 400 exit lane had slowed
to a crawl,
or even stopped, before the crash that killed its
Roswell police said Monday.
And it doesn't appear that any charges will be
filed against the
truck driver, Robert L. Moore, of Decatur, who
slammed into the
rear of the Nissan on Sunday afternoon, killing
the six Haitian natives on their way home from
Sgt. Jim McGee.
"At least two other vehicles swerved to avoid the
McGee said. "Something wasn't right with the
Marie Saurel, 33, her daughter, Cindy Saurel, 12,
children--Diana Richemond, 10, and Mazyno
Richemond, 6, a
sister and brother--all were in the back seat
when the truck
skidded and slammed into their car. They died
Driver Leroy Petit-Simon, 46, and Marie's
Pierre, 43, were in the front seat and also died
McGee said it is unclear why the car slowed down.
Investigators will examine the engine again today
interview more witnesses to help determine why
the car was
traveling so slowly in the northbound Exit 7A
Holcomb Bridge Road. One witness said the car had
completely, McGee said.
Witnesses said the car had its hazard lights
they were dim, McGee said. Alcohol wasn't a part
accident and the Nissan appeared to have had gas
investigators smelled it after the accident.
McGee said Moore was a contract driver for the
Service and was going to the Roswell post office
Bridge Road. He has been a truck driver for more
years and Sunday's crash was his first serious
The Haitians had been traveling from Good
Church off Dresden Drive in north Atlanta. Cindy
other children in the church's Haitian Father's
They lived in various apartments in Roswell along
Bridge Road and Ga. 400.
Raymond Joseph lived across the hall from
Apartment 1465D in
Kings Bridge apartments where Pierre and Marie
Saurel lived. The two families had prayed and
shared a meal together Saturday night.
Pierre, a cook, had a wife and three children
back in Haiti
to whom he sent money. He'd wanted to save enough
go back home and build a house for his family,
Joseph and Pierre were from the same town in
Haiti and had
known each other for 15 years, Joseph said. Like
Haitians, he'd come to the United States to
poverty and violence of his homeland.
Cindy, who would have started in the sixth grade
Bridge Middle School this year, loved singing.
She sang a
song Saturday night during the gathering at
"That made joy for everybody in the house,"
"She sang for me Saturday night. Something I will
forget the rest of my life."
Petit-Simon, the driver, was a custodian at
School. He sent portions of his paycheck home to
and four children. He'd begun trying to bring his
His niece, Eliene Lynn, was at Petit-Simon's
apartment Monday afternoon where relatives and
gathered to cry and mourn together.
Lynn said relatives are struggling to fly in for
that will be held in metro Atlanta.
"He wanted them to be here," Lynn said. "He
didn't get to
accomplish that before he went. Maybe they'll get
to be here
for his funeral."
National Coalition for Haitian Rights