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A Dalton, Georgia, man was fatally wounded by a gunshot while he was driving on Interstate 75 in Catoosa County early Sunday morning.

Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk said in a news release that Noel Lopez, 35, was found dead in the driver's seat of his car with a gunshot wound to the head at about 3 a.m. Sunday near exit 348 on I-75.

Lopez's wife and another woman were in the car at the time of the incident. The three of them were drinking at a bar in Chattanooga at about 11 p.m. and continued to drink for several hours, authorities said.

The women told investigators that there was a "mutually physical domestic argument" going on between Lopez and his wife in the front seat while Lopez was driving.

Sisk said a gun "became involved" and it discharged, striking Lopez in the head and killing him. The gunshot caused a major crash on I-75 and closed all lanes for two and a half hours early Sunday morning.

Lopez's body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab for an autopsy.

Several pieces of evidence are being submitted for forensic processing to "determine the facts of this incident," the news release said.

No charges have been filed, and the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Tim Busby or Capt. Chris Lyons with the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office at 706-935-2424.

Contact Patrick Filbin at pfilbin@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.

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