Driver charged in deadly Gwinnett County crash

Police have filed charges against the driver who caused a fatal wreck in Gwinnett County on Thursday afternoon.

Jonathan Porch, 41, of Braselton, faces counts of reckless driving, failure to obey a traffic control device and first degree vehicular homicide. 

According to Gwinnett County Police, officers responded to a crash at the intersection of Winters Chapel Road and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard at around 12:40 p.m.

Porch told officers he had offered a woman a ride and a short time later, someone in a black SUV started firing at his truck.

"He said because of that interaction, he bent down in his vehicle to avoid being struck by gunfire and that's when he crashed his vehicle," explained Gwinnett Police Cpl. Michele Pihera.

Porch's truck collided with a white Volvo driven by Patricia Meeks Padget, 63.  Padgett died at the scene.

Investigators said the woman who Porch had picked up ran from the scene.  Officers found a five-month-old baby boy in the back seat and transported him to a nearby hospital to get checked out.  Police then turned the baby over to the custody of the Division of Family and Children Services.

"We do feel confident that the woman who was seen fleeing the vehicle was not the mother," said Cpl. Pihera.  "Mr. Porch was not the father." 

Police have not been able to locate that woman, nor those inside the black SUV. 

Pihera said the investigation has several layers to it and they would like anyone with information about the case to contact Crime Stoppers. 

"It's an unfortunate situation and there's at least two innocent victims in this.  We have a woman in her 60s who died as a result of her injuries who should not have died.  We also have a 5-month-old who through no fault of his own was involved in this criminal investigation and fortunately, he's going to be okay," said Cpl. Pihera.

Porch remains in the Gwinnett County Jail.

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