WARNER ROBINS — A North Carolina woman has been charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving after the vehicle she was driving struck a pedestrian Saturday night near the emergency ramp of the Ga. 247 Connector exit off Interstate 75, jail records show.
The Macon Telegraph is reporting that Mary Inez Merlo, 62, of Youngsville, North Carolina, was arrested on the charges by the Georgia State Patrol and taken to the Peach County jail, according to Peach County jail records. Her arrest and booking report indicates the vehicular homicide is a felony.
Killed was Leonard E. Suits Jr., 58 of Knoxville, according to Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks. Suites was pronounced dead an the scene of the accident.
About 8:45 p.m., Merlo was driving a grey 2006 Dodge Caravan north on I-75 approaching Exit 146. When she took Exit 146, Suits was stuck, GSP spokeswoman Tracey Watson stated in an email.
Suits was a passenger in another motor vehicle that had stopped in the emergency lane of the off ramp. The vehicle had stopped because of road debris stuck on their vehicle. Suits crossed over the exit ramp into the gore/median area where he was struck by the vehicle, Watson said. The gore-median area is the triangle-shaped strip of road between the interstate and the driving portion of the exit ramp.
This portion of the exit is located in Peach County. Exit 146 is the exit for Centerville/Warner Robins and for Fort Valley.