Police say a fatal accident that killed a motorcyclist in north Gwinnett in April was not as it initially appeared, and now four people are facing vehicular homicide charges.
Gwinnett Police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said the scene where Brandon Gaylor, 24, died on April 26 was altered to hide what actually happened — a street race among friends that ended tragically.
The initial report indicated Gaylor was struck by one vehicle, then run over by another on Duncan Creek Road near Buford. “The investigation revealed that these events were not entirely accurate,” Smith said in a statement, “and the scene had been altered prior to police arrival.”
One of the vehicles involved — owned by Gaylor’s girlfriend and believed to be the one which killed him — was hidden before police responded.
Smith said five friends, including Gaylor, had left a Flowery Branch restaurant around 2:30 a.m. on April 26 and were racing down Duncan Creek Road to Gaylor’s house.
Jennifer Schoeppler, Andre Daniels, Titis Newsome and Noelle Gretzinger (the girlfriend) were all involved, and all face first-degree homicide and various other charges. Gaylor was the only one in the group driving a motorcycle.
Smith said the investigation showed Gaylor was leading the group when he slowed down near his house and was struck and knocked down by the car driven by Schoeppler. He was lying in the roadway when he was hit by Gretzinger and died at the scene. Daniels and Newsome avoided hitting Gaylor.
“Investigators determined that Newsome helped Gretzinger hide her vehicle following the accident,” Smith reported. “The remaining two drivers rearranged their vehicles before police arrived.”
After police left, Gretzinger and her father, Gary Woodruff, then hid her vehicle at Woodruff’s house. Smith said investigators found the car and seized it as evidence.
Woodruff, 52, was charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.
Along with vehicular homicide, the four friends also have been charged with the following crimes:
- Schoeppler, age 25, reckless driving, racing, speeding, and following too closely.
- Daniels, 20, reckless driving, racing, speeding, and following too closely.
- Gretzinger, 24, reckless driving, racing, speeding, following too closely, hit and run, and tampering with evidence.
- Newsome, 24, reckless driving, racing, hit and run, and tampering with evidence.