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Authorities search for tractor trailer in double fatal accident

12:00 AM, Dec 25, 2012   |    comments
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BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. -- A North Georgia community is rallying to support the family of a mother and her young daughter who were killed in a hit-'n-run crash with a tractor-trailer Friday in Bartow County.

The Georgia State Patrol says 29-year-old Maria Tabuena and her four-year-old daughter Melina Trichell were driving on I75 when a big rig clipped their car and sent them careening off the interstate into a guard rail.

Witnesses said the vehicle hit a guard rail and was launched into a support pillar for an overhead sign. The SUV burst into flames.

The driver and passenger were pronounced dead on the scene. The crash killed Maria Tabuena, age 29, of Calhoun and her passenger, 4-year old Melina Trichell. They were in a 1998 Ford Expedition.

The driver of the tractor trailer involved did not stop.

Georgia State Patrol officers are searching for a tractor trailer described as a late 90's long nose Peterbilt truck. The truck was maroon and pulling a silver trailer and will have damage to the right side. Witnesses said the the truck was dirty and in need of a wash.

Anyone with details should call the Georgia State Patrol office in Cartersville at 770-387-3701.

The accident happened at about 1:30PM and wasn't cleared until after 5:00PM. It caused heavy delays on Interstate 75 northbound near exit 293 as a result of the accident.

Family and friends have set up a memorial fund for the family to help pay for funeral costs. Anyone interested in helping can make a donation to the "Trichell Memorial Fund" at  any Wells Fargo branch.

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