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Funeral Saturday for Woodstock Crash Victim

The 19-year-old man died when the truck in which he was riding flipped on Interstate 75 as he returned home from a work assignment in Missouri.

The funeral for Victor Osbaldo Benitez, 19, of Woodstock will be held Saturday in Marietta.

Benitez and another man died after the driver of the pickup truck in which they were riding fell asleep at the wheel, flipping the truck Saturday morning on I-75 in Whitfield County, officials told the Daily Citizen newspaper.

Family visitation for Benitez will be Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at SouthCare Funeral Home, 595 Franklin Rd., Marietta.

Alejandro Vega-Carmona, 26, also of Acworth, was charged Saturday by the Georgia State Patrol with second degree vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane and driving without a valid license, the newspaper reported.

Sgt. John Burnette said Vega-Carmona was apparently driving himself, Benitez and another man back from a job site in Missouri. Burnette said it appeared the men had been traveling all night when Vega-Carmona fell asleep while driving south on Interstate 75 in Dalton, at about 9:30 a.m. The F-150 hit a guard rail, overturned and ejected Benitez and another passenger, both of whom Burnette said were “laying in the bed of the truck.”

Burnette told the newspaper the second victim’s identity was being withheld pending notification of his family. A second vehicular homicide charge had not yet been filed as of Monday afternoon, the Daily Citizen reported.

Vega-Carmona was taken to Hamilton Medical Center for injuries and released while the second victim was in critical condition at Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga over the weekend until he died, Burnette said.

Georgia law allows people over 18 to ride in the bed of a pickup truck, Burnette said. Vega-Carmona’s vehicular homicide charge is a misdemeanor. Had he been driving recklessly or DUI, he could have been charged with a felony, Burnette said. He said Vega-Carmona appeared to be an unlicensed driver.

The funeral for Benitez will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Chattahoochee Baptist Church, 375 Johnson Ferry Road Marietta. The family requests donations to pay for funeral expenses.

Donations can be made and condolence messages left at:

https://www.wepay.com/donations/victor-benitez-s-funeral-donationfundraiser

Robin D. Donaldson January 23, 2013 at 08:10 PM
My dear Víctor,your Uncle Mike misses you terribly and loves you very much.I will never forget all the good times that we shared and all the fun that we had.I think of you every day.I will never forget you Víctor. Love always...

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