Michael O. Snider, a 70 year old Stone Mountain resident, decided that crashing into tens of vehicles was not only ok, it was warranted when he told police that "I [Snider] do whatever I want." According to the AJC, Snider drove drunk through two counties as he bobbed and weaved his Ford truck through and at cars. After causing eight wrecks in DeKalb County, Snider then allegedly caused at least eight more wrecks in Gwinnett before causing a fatal wreck near Snellville on Wednesday night.
His hit and runs will be prosecuted in either a DeKalb or Gwinnett state court. He was charged with vehicular homicide, DUI, causing serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving and following too closely, jail records show. Additional charges are expected to be filed in DeKalb County. What make this twist even more disturbing is apparently this is the first time Snider faces any criminal charges, as he has no known criminal history according to police records.
Drivers called 911 as Snider continued on his spree. He finally crashed his truck into a Gwinnett County restaurant (John Boy’s Home Cooking) tWednesday night, but not before causing the death of a woman close to his age.
Snider rear-ended Mintiwab Woldeyhans of Loganville car, pushing the vehicle under a flatbed truck at U.S. 78 at Walton Court, near Snellville. 69-year-old Mintiwab Woldeyhans of Loganville, died at the scene of the wreck and the car’s driver, 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe of Grayson, was transported to the hospital in critical condition, according to police.
According to DeKalb County police reports obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a victim, Snider showed no remorse after striking the first of many vehicles in his path. Cpl. Ed Ritter with Gwinnett County police said that Snider didn't seem to care. At his first court appearance yesterday morning, Snider was ordered held without bond until a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 1, Gwinnett sheriff’s Lt. Sean Smith said.
The first person who police believe Snider hit was Adama Keita, of Decatur. Keita was at a red light after exiting I-285 at Covington Highway when his Nissan 350Z was hit from behind around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. According to Keita, after drunkenly stumbling out of his truck, Snider offered Keita money. Worried that Snider was going to leave the scene of the wreck, Keita said he called police a second time.
As for 51-year-old Yeshihareg Abebe of Grayson, Cpl. Ed Ritter described Abebe’s injuries as “life-threatening.”
Hit and Run charges are serious charges which carry serious criminal penalties. The fact that Snider drove drunk and hit as many people as he did, including causing the death of poor Mintiwab Woldeyhans, will make the district attorney's job easier in putting Snider away in prison for what would likely be a multi-year or lifetime sentence. Sadly, the criminal sanctions can only do so much for the families that grieve and/or who have been injured by Snider the drunk driver. These families can at least find some comfort in filing civil action claims in DeKalb and Gwinnett state court for monetary damages. Snider's insurance as well as the victims insurance who Snider hit should pay for the damage and suffering.
If you or someone you know has been hit by a drunk driver or been injured in a hit and run, your life could have changed. If you have any questions or wonder how the process works, you may wish to contact us at 800-641-0098.