A driver ran a stop sign and a Waycross man was killed in the ensuing five-vehicle pileup on Georgia Highway 158 at Telmore-Dixie Union Road Wednesday, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Eight people were injured — some of them rescued from the mangled wreckage — he said, as two of the vehicles collided head-on.
Gregorio Mungia, 22, of the 2400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, a passenger in one of the vehicles, was killed in the 6:30 a.m. accident, said Royal. He was ejected from a vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:03 a.m. by Ware County Coroner Atha Lucas.
Foggy conditions may have contributed to the crash, said Royal.
Royal said Georgia Highway 158 was closed between the accident scene and U.S. 82 for more than four hours. Traffic was rerouted while lawmen were on the scene before all of the vehicles and debris from the crash were removed.
Taken to Memorial Satilla Health in Waycross for treatment of various injuries including broken bones, chest pains, leg pains and other injuries were Franklin Lamar Dixon, 31, of Riverside Road, Nahunta, Corbitt Anthony Nettles, 49, of Waycross, Roy Eugene Wayson, 42, of Waycross, Rubisel Lopez Jr., 20, of New York Avenue, Waycross, Randy Hal Turner, 44, of Golfview Drive, Waycross, Venancio Savinon Rios, 39, of Nevada Avenue, Waycross, Luis Garcia, 21, of Connecticut Avenue, Waycross, and Benjamin Castillo, 31, of Pennsylvania Avenue, Waycross, said Royal.
The vehicles involved included a 2007 GMC Sierra pickup truck, a 2000 Ford Expedition, a 2003 Ford F-250 pickup truck, a 2011 Ford pickup truck and a 2016 International tractor trailer, said Royal.
Dixon, driving the GMC, was northbound on Telmore-Dixie Union Road and he told lawmen he did not see the stop sign at the intersection with Georgia Highway 158. Dixon entered the intersection and was hit by a Ford truck driven by Turner. Royal said Turner did not see Dixon and hit his truck in the passenger side, then crossed Highway 158 and struck a tree.
Lopez, driving the Ford Expedition, was westbound on Highway 158 and saw Dixon’s truck in the roadway. Royal said at that point he entered the eastbound lane to try and avoid hitting the Dixon vehicle and did not see the Turner vehicle or the tractor trailer, driven by Lopez, and struck the tractor trailer head-on, the rig stopping in the middle of Highway 158.
The accident report has not been completed by the Georgia State Patrol, who sent three troopers, Sgt. Chad Woods, Sgt. Josh Taylor and Trooper Sherman McLain to the scene. The investigation will be turned over to the GSP SCRT (Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team), Royal said.
Ware County deputies Dakota York and Sgt. Robert Weekley assisted with traffic issues.