The 21-year-old U.S. Marine killed Saturday by a wrong-way driver was heading home to Huntsville, Ala., after a tour of duty in Iraq.
Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory M. Suedmeyer, 21, with his wife, Katelyn Suedmeyer. Cpl. Suedmeyer was killed by a wrong-way driver on I-20. Katelyn Suedmeyer remains in critical condition.
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.Lance Cpl. Gregory M. Suedmeyer "always wanted to be a Marine," his mother, Rebecca Suedmeyer, told WHNT in Huntsville.
"He was a Marine. He was honest. He was loyal. He was a loving husband. He was my baby," she told the station.
Suedmeyer died at Grady Memorial Hospital about two hours after Saturday's 5 p.m. crash on I-20 near Six Flags. Suedmeyer was part of the 2nd Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
A friend told the AJC via email she was too distraught to be interviewed.
"All I can say is that he was an amazing man," wrote Jessica Wilson of West Huntsville, Ala. "The best person I have ever met."
Suedmeyer's wife, 19-year-old Katelyn Suedmeyer, remains in critical condition after being airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center.
Cobb County police expect to file charges against the driver, 71-year-old Bruce Joseph Quayle of Villa Rica. Police say Quayle was traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes in his 2008 Chevy Silverado when he struck Suedmeyer's 2000 Mitsubishi Mirage head-on.
Police are investigating why Quayle drove at least a mile on the wrong side of the interstate, from Douglas County into Cobb County, Cobb police spokesman Officer Joe Hernandez said. Douglas County 911 received numerous calls about a wrong-way driver at I-20 and Lee Road.
Quayle remains in stable condition at Grady.
Suedmeyer was driving the Mirage, and his wife was in the passenger seat. A dog in their car also was killed.
Friends have set up a Facebook page titled "RIP Lance Corporal Gregory M. Suedmeyer," with photos and tributes, in addition to one titled "Pray for Katelyn and family."
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