Spinning our Wheels

Spinning our Wheels is a commuting blog about the challenges of getting around Atlanta by car, bus, MARTA, bicycles and on foot written by transportation reporter David Wickert

Father of DUI crash victims dies suddenly

A family that lost three loved ones in a tragic limousine accident on I-85 in 2008 has suffered another great loss.

Demetrius Randle, 53, was still recovering from a brain injury suffered during a crash that killed two of his children and a grandson. He had a heart attack and died Nov. 23, according to his wife, Falleen Randle.

She and their son, Chris, 28, are now the only surviving members of their immediate family. They reside in Marina Del Ray, Ca., where the family moved not long after the wreck.

"I wanted to make an announcement to Atlanta," Falleen Randle said Monday. "Our ties are there. Coworkers and people he used to work with and old bosses and people who have been part of our story."

The Randles made headlines statewide after a convicted drunk driver struck their limousine on I-85 near Indian Trail Road in Gwinnett County on March 31, 2008. The family fought for and eventually got approval from the state to install a DUI Memorial road sign there in 2013.

The driver who was at fault in the accident, Cody Rhoden, pleaded guilty to serious injury by vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and four counts of vehicular homicide and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Witnesses said Rhoden had been drinking beer at the Braves home opener that day. He was speeding and weaving between lanes when his vehicle clipped the limousine the Randles were riding in, causing it to flip.

Killed in the crash were 14-year-old Alexander, 21-year-old Whitney, and her 13-month-old son, Kayden. The same wreck also claimed the life of the limo driver, Mark Gay, 44, of Lawrenceville.

The family was heading home from the airport after attending a relative’s wedding in Utah.

Falleen Randle said her husband's heart attack came as a complete shock, and that he had been in good health recently. She said he was learning to cook and his walking was improving.

However, he was approaching the Thanksgiving holiday with sadness.

"I just think his heart couldn’t take it anymore because it was another holiday without his kids," she said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses for Demetrius Randle.

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