This past week, an off-duty police officer saw a Toyota driving the wrong direction as the driver drove west on an eastbound lane of I-20. This was moments before a deadly DUI crash occurred around 3:30 a.m. in Atlanta, Georgia. Just earlier that evening, the Welch family had a gathering at a relative’s house in Douglasville.
Sameyka Rochel Welch and her dad, Ed Ford left their relative’s house at the same time. Welch drove behind her dad until she got onto I-20. It was around this time, 3:30 a.m., when the officer saw the Toyota driving the wrong way and called for help.
The Toyota Camry slammed right into Welch’s Ford Taurus near Langhorn Street exit west of the Downtown Connecter. Robert Ayiteyfio, the driver of the Camry, was driving drunk. Welch tragically died later in the hospital. She was driving with her boyfriend and two children. Welch’s boyfriend is at the hospital and the two children were taken to Egleston Children’s Hospital for treatment and evaluation. According to reports, the two children have non-threatening injuries. One child is ten months old and the other is two years old.
When Ayiteyfio was being questioned by an APD DUI Task Force officer, he ran and tried to avoid being captured. He eventually was caught and taken to the Fulton County Jail where is remains at this time. He is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, homicide by vehicle, and driving on the wrong side of the road. Later that evening he was denied bond.
I am one of the 2 officer who took the DIU driver into custody after a 20-30 minute search for him in the woods and in the back of some houses. My other partner spotted him running down a dirt road heading in the direction of I-20 while taking him into custody he stated that he was a United States Marine and that he didnt care about what as going on. after My partner and I took him into custody we left the scene and reported back out assinged zones only to hear a few minutes later that an officer was down. I was the officer who was able to get inside the car and keep OFC. Towns neck from falling to the side and hurting herself even more. Im glad to hear that she was doing ok and hope for a speedy recovery. All in all this could have all been avoided of the DUI driver never got behind the wheel and act so careless……
I hope the Judge assigned to this case will be made aware of these comments when the time comes for this DUI driver to face the criminal charges and civil penalties that certainly will be filed against him. Maybe then he will see fit to care…
Our thoughts are with the Welch family.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer in 2017, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys.