The Georgia State Patrol is not ready to reveal details about how the 6:30 a.m. collision that involved a total of four vehicles occurred, but witnesses have said it was a head-on crash in heavy fog. They maintain that the people involved remarkably escaped death or serious injury as the truck and one of the other vehicles hit head-on creating a fiery aftermath.
Ware County EMS director Dr. Bill Parham said the two that had injury — very minor, “walking around type” injuries — were on the Coffee County end of the bridge and were picked up by Coffee County ambulances and transported to the Coffee County hospital.
“I do not have that information,” Parham said. “But I can tell you they had to be in close with the Lord. It was a bad wreck. And their injuries were very minor.”
The wreckage blocked both lanes of travel across the bridge, authorities said, adding that it was after noon Thursday before the highway was re-opened to traffic.
During the several hours that the bridge was closed, workers busily cleared away the wreckage and the spilled logs, said Ware Fire Capt. Matthew Grantham.
Grantham said firefighters were dispatched to the river bridges where the log truck had overturned right at the end of the bridge and had erupted into flames.
“It was fully engulfed in fire when we got there,” said Grantham. “We put some (crewmen) on extinguishing the fire and the others walked to the other end of the bridge to assist the EMTs that were already there. There were vehicles at opposite ends of the bridge. We could not drive down there so we had to walk to where they were.”
Grantham said firefighters assisted EMTs with getting one person out of a vehicle though mechanical extrication was not necessary.
The Georgia State Patrol’s accident report has not been completed and it is not yet clear who was injured, said Amanda Dixon, GSP Waycross post secretary.
She said four vehicles were involved and that one of the vehicles had a total of eight passengers as well as the driver.
Dixon identified the drivers as Maria Delgaillo, 23, of Waycross, driving a Chevrolet Trailblazer, Jimmy Cannon, 46, of Blackshear, driving a Mack tractor trailer, Brian O’Boyle, 40, of Douglas, driving a 2004 Pontiac, and Gerald Arsenault, 46, of Alma, driving a Mack 600 tractor trailer.
She said the passengers in the Delgaillo sport utility vehicle were Mildia Escobar Santos, 38, Francisco Guevara Viveros, 48, Rodrigo Morales, 25, Magrolio Ramirez, 19, Esmeo Juarez Lopez, 32, and Mawicio Rodriguez Ramirez, 21.
Dixon said Trooper Myles Cooper is in charge of the investigation. She said he has not written out the details of how the crash occurred. Heavy fog in the area may have been a contributing factor, she said.