Swainsboro Taco Bell crash investigation broadens

SWAINSBORO, GA (WTOC) - The investigation is broadening into a deadly crash into a Swainsboro restaurant that happened in late September.

The front of the Taco Bell only needs a little trim work to look as if nothing happened, but folks that were there will never forget. Police tell us their investigation into the tragedy now extends across hundreds of miles and in several directions.

Police Chief Randy Ellison says the driver accused of felony murder and other charges in the crash was a freshman at the University of Georgia. He was driving through Swainsboro on his way back to Statesboro when he drove his car straight into the restaurant. It killed one person, Macy Lynn Mullis, and injured several others. The chief says the big question remaining is, 'why?'

"We're still looking for a motive. What was his reason for doing what he did? We came away with some really important information," Chief Ellison said. 'A lot of things, you know? What happened the night before? What happened the day of? Was there anything that he sent to anybody by message, by phone call, or anything that was alarming that we need to know about?'

Chief Ellison says he's sent investigators to Athens where they've talked with those who knew Oliver Cope. He says they've also interviewed former teachers and classmates of Cope at Bulloch Academy, where he'd just graduated in May. They say this case could be presented to a grand jury as early as December.

We'll keep you updated on that timeline.

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