Driver Killed in I-85 Wreck Last Friday Identified
By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
Franklin County authorities have identified the man killed in a fiery truck crash on Interstate 85 last Friday evening.
On Thursday, Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas said the driver was 47-year old Mitchell Ray Faulkner from Glencoe, Alabama.
Sheriff Thomas said Faulkner was driving for a company called Dairyman Supply, Inc., out of Gadsden, Alabama.
Thomas said because DNA tests could take up to a year and because all of the driver’s identification had burned in the fire, his investigators used good, old-fashioned leg work to find out who the man was.
He said once investigators identified the company he worked for, his investigators pulled Faulkner’s driver’s license up on the computer and workers at the last stop Faulkner made before the accident positively identified him.
In the meantime, investigators also contacted the trucking company he worked for and was told his family had reported him missing Saturday to Alabama authorities when he did not return home as scheduled.
Witnesses told authorities Faulkner’s truck was traveling southbound on I-85 and veered off to the right shoulder of the road just south of exit 164 last Friday at about 5:30 p.m. They said the driver never hit his brakes and the truck went into a ditch, struck two trees and exploded.
Thomas said they believe Faulkner may have suffered a heart attack or some other medical incident prior to running the truck off the road.
Thomas credits his investigators and Assistant Franklin County Coroner Scott O’Barr for their hard work in finding out who the victim was.
He said Faulkner’s remains were returned to his family on Thursday for burial.