COVINGTON, Ga. — The victims of a Sunday, March 14, fatal wreck on I-20 in Newton County have been identified as a Milledgeville woman and her husband who helped recovering addicts.
Darren “Buddy” Horton, 51, and his wife, Stephanie Michelle Horton, 48, died when the Toyota Tacoma Buddy Horton was driving eastbound was struck by a westbound Toyota RAV4 after it crossed the grass median on I-20 between Georgia highways 11 and 142.
The Georgia State Patrol today was continuing to investigate the Sunday incident in which Kuan Zheng, 63, of Doraville was the driver of the Toyota RAV4.
Zheng's vehicle was westbound about two miles west of Ga. Highway 11 when it struck a Chrysler 200 in the lane beside it, apparently overcorrected, flipped on its side and crossed the center median before striking the Hortons' eastbound vehicle.
Morgan Green, 27, of Social Circle, was driving the Chrysler 200 with her daughters ages 2 and 9. They were en route to Taco Bell at the next exit when she saw the RAV4 strike her vehicle, turn to the left and go airborne.
"I somehow managed to maintain control of my vehicle while seeing all of this in my peripheral vision, and we pulled safely to the side of the road. I knew we got lucky. We were all OK," Green said in a posting on her Facebook page.
"I can’t really explain the feelings I went through. But I can say that I am so thankful that my girls are OK. Please pray for the others involved and the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives today.”
Green also told The Covington News, ”We are not physically hurt, I just have a little neck pain. But the trauma from witnessing such a horrific event will definitely stay with us forever."
The incident occurred about 4:30 p.m. on I-20 between Social Circle and Covington. Zheng sustained serious injuries and was transported to Atlanta Medical Center, said GSP spokesman Lt. Mark Riley.
GSP’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team was assisting in the investigation that was not complete today, said GSP spokesperson Franka Young.
No charges had been placed in the incident this morning, Riley said.
An obituary from Moores Funeral Home and a GoFund Me account the family set up to pay for funeral expenses stated Buddy Horton was active in adult baseball in metro Atlanta and he "had spent the day doing one of the things he loved most, playing baseball" and "Michelle was there, as she often was, as his biggest supporter."
Buddy Horton was an employee of Heart Ministries where he worked to help addicts recover through Christ, an obituary stated. Michelle Horton was an employee of Atruim Health Navicent.