Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Drunken Rampage Causes 17 Crashes, 1 Death in Georgia

Michael Owen Snider

Michael Owen Snider

Michael Owen Snider, 70, of Stone Mountain, Ga., was arrested on January 24, 2013, after allegedly going on an alcohol-fueled hit-and-run rampage that spanned two counties, left 17 vehicles smashed in 15 separate “accidents” and 1 person dead. Witnesses say they were rammed repeatedly and intentionally, and are thankful to be alive.

Snider had started in DeKalb County, driving down Highway 78 allegedly hitting cars in his 2006 Ford Super Duty pickup truck when he nearly collided with a police cruiser in Gwinnett County that happened to be in the area late on January 23. Witnesses said that Snider was intentionally ramming other vehicles on the road as he drove by. Witness Dennis Brown told 11 Alive, “I was at the light over there and I looked in my rear view and I saw this big pickup truck, like a Ford F-350 or something like that, he intentionally tried to hit me, so that’s when he chased me, literally he chased me, on the road. It was like a video game. Really, I couldn’t believe he was trying to do that.” Other witnesses corroborated Brown’s statement that Snider was intentionally hitting the other drivers on the road. Victims Jenetta and Manuel Johnson were terrified by what sounded more like attempted vehicular homicide than simple drunken driving. Describing the encounter for reporters, Jenneta Johnson said she feared for her life, “I just thought we were going to die. I just knew he was going to kill us. He would not stop hitting us. … He was just ramming us and ramming us, and then he hit the gas and went around.” Police are still piecing together the events of that night, trying to figure out just how many collisions Snider may have caused.

Snider’s spree came to a tragic end in Snellville when he reportedly hit a Toyota Camry so hard that it hit the stopped car in front of it and kept going, getting wedged under the trailer of a tractor trailer, while the stopped car hit another car. Snider lost control of his pickup and crashed into a John Boy’s Restaurant.

Snider was stopped trying to flee the scene, and then, complaining of minor injuries, was examined at a hospital before being booked by Snellville police for driving under the influence, vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, following too closely and reckless driving. Police say there are more charges on the way.

Sadly a grandmother riding in the Camry, Mintiwab Woldeyhans, 69, of Loganville, was killed in the crash. The driver of the Camry sustained life-threatening injuries and is in critical condition. Snider, who is being held without bond, was told what had happened when he sobered up, and reportedly required counseling at that time.

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