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Two charged after passenger on motorcycle struck, killed on downtown connector

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A passenger on a motorcycle died after her vehicle was struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver on the downtown connector. And police said the operator of the motorcycle left the scene after seeing her pinned beneath the vehicle.

On Monday, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the deceased passenger as 33-year-old Ellie Norris. The suspects Saahir Salahuddin, 37, and Jessica M. Johnson, were charged Sunday in the woman’s death, which happened around 3 a.m., according to Atlanta police.

Investigators said Johnson was operating a 2012 Hyundai Sonata on I-75/85 South and had entered the left lane to the I-20 Connector when her Sonata struck a 2013 Suzuki GSX Motorcycle in the rear.

The rear seat passenger fell off the motorcycle and was struck by the Sonata, police spokeswoman Officer Kim Jones said. The victim landed under the carriage of the Sonata while the 2013 Suzuki GSX continued across the right lane and struck the median wall barrier, Jones said.

The motorcycle operator, Salahuddin, walked over to the Sonata, saw the victim under the vehicle and began calling her name, Jones said. He then fled the scene, she said.

The driver of the Sonata, Johnson, was given field sobriety tests in which she allegedly blew a .209, Jones said. Johnson was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, DUI Alcohol, reckless driving, and following too closely, she said.

The motorcycle operator, Salahuddin, found later at Grady Memorial Hospital and taken into custody at 11:30 a.m., police said. He was charged with first-degree vehicular, hit and run and theft by receiving a stolen auto, Jones said.