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Responders describe chaotic scene at fatal wreck

A Mexican national with a Clayton County address was killed and multiple others injured in a head-on collision amidst a chaotic scene that followed a concert Saturday night at Rancho de Centenario racetrack on High Falls Park Road here. According to reports, the driver of a Dodge Charger headed east on High Falls Park Road tried to pass a truck hauling a horse trailer on a rise and near a bad curve when it struck a westbound PT Cruiser head-on just after 10 p.m. Both cars involved bore Clayton County tags. The man in the right rear seat of the PT Cruiser was dead at the scene. Coroner Jim Smith identified him as 40-year-old Rafael Sandoval-Morales. According to documentation on his body issued by the Mexican consulate in Atlanta, Sandoval- Morales was from Jalapa in the state of Veracruz. His current address was an apartment at 228 Morrow Road in Forest Park. Fire chief Steve Andrews said the concert was letting out at the time of the accident and his personnel had a hard time responding due to vehicles and pedestrians – many of them intoxicated – in the roadway. ‘There were several hundred people in the road. We had to go through all that. It was pretty much a disaster,’ Andrews said. Smith said he had been by the concert earlier in the day and estimated there 500-1000 cars there and deputies were directing traffic. County commissioner Nancy Thrash said attendance at the event was near 2000. Andrews said Sandoval- Morales received treatment at the scene but did not respond. Smith said the body was taken to the crime lab for autopsy and will then be stored at Breedlove Memorial Chapel at his office’s expense. No one at the scene, including those in the car with him, would admit to knowing the dead man. Anyone with information on him is asked to call Smith at 770-468-9584. Andrews said multiple agencies responded including at least two Lamar deputies, four or more state troopers, two fire engines, six firefighters, two ambulances from Mid-Georgia, one ambulance from Monroe County, one Pro-Med ambulance from Butts County and at least eight EMTs. A lifeflight helicopter was summoned but not used for a patient. Five or six people were transported. Some went to Spalding Regional and some to the Macon Medical Center. No identification or condition reports were available on any of them at presstime Monday. The GSP SCRT team is working the fatal crash but the Forsyth state patrol post had no information on it Monday.

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