I-85 shut down for several hours after Braselton-area accident leaves Virginia man dead

By Bryan Pirkle Reporter
Posted 5:30PM on Saturday 27th June 2020 ( 4 years ago )

One person was killed early Friday evening in a Jackson County accident that shut down the southbound lanes of I-85 for several hours.

Galax, Va., resident Keith Sparks, 40, died at the scene after being ejected as a result of the collision, which the Georgia State Patrol said happened just after 4:30 p.m.

The collision happened when Lawrenceville resident Roman Zatuchny, 80, was reportedly driving in the right-hand southbound lane of I-85 in the area of Hwy. 53 (Exit 129) when he made an improper lane change.

Moving into the left lane, he then collided with a vehicle being driven by Sparks, causing that vehicle to lose control.

Troopers said Sparks' vehicle overturned several times before coming to a stop upside-down in the left lane. Sparks was ejected from the vehicle as it overturned, and struck a cable barrier. Troopers said he died of his injuries.

Zatuchny's vehicle ended up striking a guardrail on the right shoulder of the interstate after the initial collision, overturning, and then coming to an uncontrolled rest against the same guardrail.

No word was given regarding his condition, or if any charges are pending.

The accident and on-scene investigation shut down traffic on I-85 SB for roughly 5 hours, and the crash remains under investigation.

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