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Athens man jailed for fiery DUI crash of van carrying 5 children

By Joe Johnson

An Athens man remained in jail Friday morning, two days after he crashed a van carrying five young children while allegedly intoxicated.

According to Athens-Clarke County Public Information Officer Lt. Shaun Barnett, the incident occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday when a Dodge Caravan operated by 30-year-old Everett Maurice Hackney of Huntington Road left the roadway and flipped when trying to exit from the Athens Perimeter to Atlanta Highway.

“The vehicle rolled and eventually caught fire,” according to Barnett, who said a witness saw five children exiting the burning van.

“There were injuries that were a result of the crash but I do not know the extent,” he said.

Hackney was charged with DUI, possession of open containers of alcohol in a vehicle, driving too fast for conditions, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and five counts each of failure to use child restraints and endangering a child under 14 by driving under the influence.

Barnett said he did not know how or if Hackney was related to the children, who were aged 2 through 8.

He said the child endangerment charges are a form of child abuse, reports of which are prohibited by law from being made public.

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