Franka Young with the Georgia State Patrol office said that at approximately 2 p.m. Warren and Chief Deputy Milton Beck were traveling south on Interstate 75 in the HOV lane — with Beck driving — when their car was struck by a Ford pickup truck pulling a trailer near the Northside Drive and 17th Street exits just north of Atlanta.
Young said the driver of the truck, 40-year-old Jeffrey Ronald Collins of Loganville, was hauling an excavator and lost control of his truck while merging onto I-75 south of the Northside Drive exit. He eventually hit the white sport-utility vehicle being driven by Beck.
Beck, Collins and his passenger, Timothy Lamont Johnson, 48, from Lithonia, were not injured. Warren was taken by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta with minor injuries.
Only two lanes of southbound 75 were open after the accident and traffic was backed up for at least three miles as of 2:30 p.m. The site was cleared and traffic was flowing again on all six lanes just before 4 p.m.
Collins was charged with failure to maintain lane, Young said.
Warren and Beck were headed to a 2 p.m. ceremony at the state Supreme Court in Atlanta where Supreme Court Justice Harris Hines of Marietta was being honored when they got into the wreck.
Hines was sworn in as the court’s new presiding justice by former Gov. Zell Miller, who originally appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1995.