Teen involved in wreck with Barnes' family dies

Monday, Oct. 11, 2010 4:19 PM
Last updated 9:13 PM
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ATLANTA - A 17-year-old driver from Kennesaw has died a day after a highway collision that injured Democratic gubernatorial nominee Roy Barnes' daughter and her two daughters.

Cobb County police say the accident near Marietta occurred on Sunday when a Porsche crossed the center line and swerved, striking a minivan carrying Alison Barnes Salter and her daughters. Atlanta Medical Center spokesman Marcus Gordon said Mario D. Zuniga, the driver of the Porsche, died Monday at the hospital.

Salter, an attorney in her father's firm, was treated for arm and foot injuries and released at Kennestone Hospital. Her daughters were taken to Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta. The 6-year-old, Lilly, was treated and released. The 4-year-old, Ella, was to undergo surgery to place a pin in a broken arm.

Police say Zuniga's 16-year-old passenger was taken to Kennestone with non-life threatening injuries.

The Barnes family said Barnes' daughter had been running errands when the accident occurred.

"This is every parent's and grandparent's worst nightmare," Barnes spokeswoman Anna Ruth Williams said in a statement. "Roy and Marie extend their deepest sympathies to the Zuniga family and their thoughts and prayers are with them as they deal with this tragic loss."

Barnes issued a statement thanking first responders, hospital personnel and well-wishers. He canceled campaign appearances until further notice.

His Republican opponent, Nathan Deal, issued a statement late Sunday.

"As fellow parents and grandparents, Nathan and Sandra are keeping the Barnes family in their thoughts and prayers tonight. They are saddened to hear of the injuries and hope for speedy recoveries for all involved."

Comments (10) Add comment
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TeamLoser
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TeamLoser 10/11/10 - 05:03 pm
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17 year old driving a

17 year old driving a Porsche?

Quack Quack Quack
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Quack Quack Quack 10/11/10 - 06:33 pm
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TeamLoser...My thoughts

TeamLoser...My thoughts exactly when I read this last night. Not a car for a teenager to be driving without an adult.

Cheeched
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Cheeched 10/11/10 - 06:47 pm
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Anyone under the age of 30

Anyone under the age of 30 probably doesn't need a car like this....all I can think about when it comes to Porsche's is idiots driving over 100 mph just because "they can".

My condolences to the family :(

Taylor B
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Taylor B 10/11/10 - 07:05 pm
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Depends what kind. Also, this

Depends what kind. Also, this kid would have done MUCH more damage in MANY different cars.

TK3
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TK3 10/11/10 - 08:04 pm
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How sad. All for safety

How sad. All for safety barriers between highway lanes.

augusta citizen
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augusta citizen 10/11/10 - 09:04 pm
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I feel so sorry for his

I feel so sorry for his family, this is something no parent should ever have to face, prayers for his loved ones.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 10/11/10 - 09:17 pm
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Bless his soul.
Unpublished

Bless his soul.

Rolling Eyes
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Rolling Eyes 10/11/10 - 09:36 pm
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My sympathies go out to the

My sympathies go out to the family for their loss and wishes for a speedy recovery for the Barnes family and his 16 year old companion. That said, I can't help but wonder why a 17 year old who couldn't have had very much driving experience was handed the keys to a high performance car best known for its fast speeds? Kids that age aren't known for their wise decision making skills. Give them a sports car, no adult supervision and a friend to show off to and this type of result should come as no surprise.....

Doyougetitnow
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Doyougetitnow 10/11/10 - 09:47 pm
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The surprise is that people

The surprise is that people who have anything negative to say at such a tragic time really don't realize that this young person that lost his life is someone's son. Nor are they understanding, this could be my child or your child. I pray for anyone who loses a loved one no matter what the reason. The last words any parent, friend or compassionate person with a heart wants to read is anything negative. These people need love, sympathy, compassion, understanding and prayers to get through this. But, by the Grace of God go I. No judgement to anyone from me; I pray for Peace with you all.

recoveringaddict
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recoveringaddict 10/11/10 - 09:57 pm
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I'm with you "Doyougetitnow".

I'm with you "Doyougetitnow". This family needs all of the things you mentioned. They don't need people asking them why did they allow their child to drive a certain car. I cannot begin to imagine what they must be going through. Have a heart people. This is just my opinion; I feel that we should try to put ourselves in other's shoes sometimes.

Rolling Eyes
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Rolling Eyes 10/12/10 - 10:15 am
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This was an article about a

This was an article about a tragic event not an obituary. Had remarks been made on such a site I'd agree with you as it being inappropriate. This article happens to not be such a column, but rather its in an open discussion forum and people are going to talk about the article. In this case nobody was being flip about this needless wreck but rather shared thoughts on how such an event could have been prevented and hopefully will cause other thoughtful parents/people to consider more carefully so that such a waste of life doesn't happen to their kids, so that they don't have to "walk in their shoes". While its 'nice' to always speak pleasantly about unpleasant events of the world, its not being realistic. Wearing rose colored glasses doesn't really make the world a different color, it just allows the wearer to pretend that its a little bit prettier.....

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