JEFFERSON — Both lanes of traffic are now open after a van wreck happened early Monday morning. At least three people are dead, according to the Georgia State Patrol while the the Georgia Department of Transportation is reporting four. The GSP says they were heavy metal band members who were headed to a show tonight in Atlanta at The Basement. Although the show has been cancelled, The Basement is putting on a benefit concert for those involved in the accident on Monday, April 13.
The names of the victims have yet to be released because all of the family members haven’t been reached, according to a GSP representative.
8:30 a.m.: GSP confirmed the wreck involved a 15-person van Monday morning.
Twelve people were in the van.
A GDOT spokesperson says the van ran off the road, rolled down an embankment and hit a tree.
9 a.m.: One lane of I-85 south is open at the scene; the right lane is blocked. Commuters in the area are experiencing delays.
A map on Georgia 511 shows traffic speeds are between 30-40 miles per hour near exit 147.
Grady Newsource reporters Kimberly Johnson and Alyssa Purser are at the scene.
9:15 a.m.: GDOT Communications Officer Teri Pope says she does not expect traffic delays to be cleared until mid-afternoon.
9:45 a.m.: Both lanes of traffic are open. Only the shoulder is closed.
Pope explains the lane reopening and shoulder closure.
GSP Corporal Smith with specialized reconstruction team says the three were around 30 years old. Smith says two people are in critical condition — eight people total were injured. They were sent to three hospitals in the area: St. Mary’s Hospital, Northeast Georgia and Athens Regional.
10:15 a.m.: Two metal bands were involved in the wreck and had to cancel their show in Atlanta. The bands were Wormreich and Khaotika. Wormreich’s Facebook page says the bands were set to play at Graveyard Tavern & The Basement.
10:45 a.m.: The GSP says the driver of the vehicle fell asleep behind the wheel. It also says many of the passengers were not wearing seat belts.
12:15 p.m.: The GSP says the three dead passengers were band members.
UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: The Basement is putting on a benefit concert for the victims on Monday, April 13.
Check back for more updates.