Traffic was rerouted for several hours off the South Georgia Parkway Monday onto Carswell Avenue after a multi-vehicle crash at Anita Street not far from South Georgia State College injured five people, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
A log truck spill exacerbated the rescue effort and caused a long delay in getting the road reopened to traffic.
Injured in the 6:47 a.m. crash that was caused by a driver running a stop sign were drivers Billy Marcus Nettles, 23, of Vic Davis Road, Millwood, Marilyn Elaine Morris, 52, of Waycross, Newton Alan Manning, 42, of Folkston, Sean Wilton Strachan, 44, of Woodbine, and Michael Lanham, 25, of Waycross.
Royal said four of them were taken to the local emergency room (at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross) for treatment of their injuries. Manning suffered more serious injuries than the others, said Royal. Strachan was checked at the scene and treated by EMTs, Royal said, but was not taken to the hospital.
Manning was trapped inside his 2013 Kenworth log truck after it overturned, Royal said. Ware County Fire Department crews used extrication tools to free him from the cab of the rig after the load of logs spilled across all five lanes of the South Georgia Parkway.
Royal said Nettles drove his 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck southbound from Anita Street onto the South Georgia Parkway without stopping at the stop sign there and his truck was hit by the Morris vehicle, a 2007 Toyota Camry, which was headed west.
The loaded log truck, approaching the crash site from the west, went out of control and overturned, Royal said, spilling its load across all five lanes of the roadway.
“As the logs began to roll, three other vehicles got caught up in the crash,” Royal said. “As the logs rolled toward them, they took evasive action and tried to avoid them.”
Strachan, driving a 2009 Hyundai, Breanna Michelle Dixon, 25, driving a 2015 Toyota RAV-4, and Michael Lanham, 25, of Waycross, driving a 2007 GMC pickup truck, all crashed into the rolling logs, Royal said.
Trooper Myles Cooper was in charge of the investigation by the Georgia State Patrol and was assisted by Deputy Tony Yeomans.
The complexity of the accident has caused difficulty for the investigators, and the GSP has yet to file its report, saying the wreck remains under investigation. Ware County, as well, has released only preliminary details, the sheriff said.
“All of this information today is just preliminary,” said Royal. “It may change as the investigation becomes more clear.
“It took several hours to clear the road. The logs were loaded onto another trailer and removed.”