A Blackshear woman was seriously injured Monday morning when her SUV struck the rear of a trailer being towed behind a pickup truck and overturned on the U.S. 84 bridge that connects Pierce and Ware counties, said Ware County Sheriff’s Capt. Neil Skerratt.
Tina Tatum, 49, of the 4100 block of Brooke Lane, was driven by a Pierce County ambulance to a landing zone near the scene of the collision where she was placed onboard an Air Evac helicopter and flown to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, said Skerratt.
Tatum was trapped inside the SUV and had to be extricated by Pierce and Ware firefighters using the Hurst “Jaws-of-Life” extrication tool, Skerratt said. Attending from Ware were firefighters Evan Dixon, Capt. Joe McPhaul and Capt. Brian Varnadore.
“She was able to raise her arm, but was not verbally responsive,” said Skerratt.
He did not have any specific details about her injuries or her condition this morning.
Driving a 2006 Buick Rendezvous, Tatum was westbound on the bridge behind a 1993 Ford Ranger pickup truck driven by Sherman Merritt, 69, of Rosy Road, Blackshear. Skerratt said Merritt told investigators he was driving about 40 mph when he looked in his rear view mirror and saw the Buick SUV approaching quickly.
Skerratt said Merritt sped up to try to avert a collision but was unable to get out of the way. The SUV struck the trailer in tow. Merritt was not injured in the 8:36 a.m. crash, Skerratt said.
“The wreck happened on the river bridge, at mile marker 1 in Ware County,” said Skerratt. “Ware County Deputy Anthony Dylan Howard assisted with the investigation.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Merritt Meeks was in charge of the investigation which is still continuing, said Skerratt.