February 3, 2006
Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened in the deadly six-car accident Sunday night on Bobby Jones Expressway.
Investigators believe it all started because two vehicles were racing. The driver of one, Lawrence Skinner, died in the wreck. The other driver accused of racing was arrested and charged with several counts of vehicular homicide in the first degree. Only on 12, that man says he is innocent.
Christopher Bush Jr. spent three nights in the Richmond County jail, and he says that is three nights too many. Bush says he was trying to stay away from the driver who deputies say could have been drinking. Bush tells News 12 He got out of the fast lane to let the truck pass, and the accident happened moments later.
Four people tragically died after deputies say the truck flipped into westbound Bobby Jones. Christopher Bush Jr. says he saw the whole thing.
"I feel for the families desperately because they lost their family," Bush said.
He says he remembers moving into the slow lane to get out of the way of the pickup truck driver, 44-year-old Lawrence Skinner. One thought ran through his head.
"What was this man thinkin’? How could he be drivin’ like this?” Bush said.
And then the accident happened.
"The traffic was laid out like a checkerboard and he wanted to weave from the slow lane to the fast lane and he lost control and that's when he went across the median. I wish something could have been done before this happened so all of this could have been taken care of before it started," Bush said.
Deputies suspect Skinner may have been driving drunk. But some say Bush is partly to blame as well.
A witness told officers Bush was racing James Skinner on eastbound Bobby Jones right before the crash happened.
"He was in jail several days before being released," said Major Richard Weaver, Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
Bush says he didn't belong behind bars.
"I can't describe that, it was a very awful feeling, I felt very out of place and unsure why I was there," Bush said.
He says he didn't do it.
"If I was in the slow lane, dealing with traffic with cars in front of me and cars behind me, I don't see how I could be racing," Bush said.
"It’s very difficult to sleep knowing these charges are against me, I just wish the family could have their children back," Bush said.
And now, he's trying to make sense of it all.
"They say everything happens for a reason, but in this case, it's hard to understand why that happened for a reason," Bush said.
The only man facing criminal charges is overcome with emotion for the victims and their families.
"Nobody...nobody should have to go through this. Nobody. He should not have been on the road, none of this would have happened," Bush said.
Bush says he was on his way to meet up with coworkers after leaving his niece's birthday party.
His case is now being handled by the district attorney's office. Bush was bonded out on Wednesday afternoon, and no date has been set for him to appear again. The rest of the accident investigation has been turned over to the Georgia State Patrol, and they hope to have a full report in ninety days.