Several people called 911 shortly before 5 p.m. on March 13 to report a wrong-way driver on I-20 westbound where it crosses Lee Road in Douglas County. After driving more than five miles in the wrong direction, Bruce Quayle of Villa Rica smashed his Chevy Silverado pickup truck head-on into the couple's 2000 green Mitsubishi Mirage at the Six Flags Parkway underpass in southern Cobb, according to Cobb Police.
The crash killed 21-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory Suedmeyer. His wife, Katelyn Suedmeyer, who was 19 at the time of the crash, was taken to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition.
According to the indictment, the wreck seriously disfigured Katelyn Suedmeyer's left arm bones and left knee area, rendered useless her right lung and right wrist and caused brain damage.
Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Shaw, who is the prosecutor in the case, said Katelyn has been living with her family in Huntsville, Ala., and is mobile and speaking.
Quayle was sent to Grady Memorial Hospital in stable condition following the afternoon wreck. He was served warrants upon his release and booked into Cobb County Jail in the early hours of March 19. He was released on March 22 on a $50,000 bond.
His formal charges from the grand jury include three counts of vehicular homicide, 12 counts of serious injury by vehicle, two counts of driving under the influence and one count of reckless driving. Shaw said Quayle could "easily" face a sentence of 35 years or more for the charges.
Shaw said his blood-alcohol content was "considerably higher" than the legal limit of .08. The exact concentration was not specified in the indictment.
Quayle's formal arraignment will likely be next month, Shaw said. His case has been assigned to Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs. According to the district attorney's office, Quayle's attorney is listed as Marietta lawyer Joel Pugh. Pugh did not return messages for comment by press time.
Gregory and Katelyn Suedmeyer lived at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune near Jacksonville, N.C. The Suedmeyers were reportedly traveling to visit family in Alabama when the crash occurred.
Gregory Suedmeyer was an assaultman assigned to 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, according to Marine public affairs. He joined the Corps in November 2007 and was promoted to the rank of lance corporal on Jan. 1, 2009. He served in Iraq from October 2008 to May 2009. He received the Iraq Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.