Name released of man killed in I-75 wreck -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Name released of man killed in I-75 wreck

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

LOWNDES COUNTY, GA (WALB) - A trucker was killed in a fiery crash on a south Georgia interstate early Monday.

The trailer that flipped on its side had to be turned upright by the wreckers to remove it from the site. The tractor trailer went up in flames around 12:30 a.m. killing 47-year-old Michael Stinson of Williamson, Georgia.

Traffic has been backed up all day on I-75 near Lake Park as crews clean up the wreckage.

One semi slammed right into the back of another trailer. That back truck burst into the flames and the driver was killed.

Semi-truck drivers speculate Monday's truck crash was a result of drowsy driving.

"The main thing is just get enough rest cause a lot of guys push it out there and that's what look liked happened here," said Jason Nelmida, truck driver. "Maybe the guy fell asleep."

Traffic on I-75 was backed up to Exit 11 starting at mile marker six around noon Monday. The two lanes closed at the crash site were expected to be open again late this afternoon. 

Emergency workers are clearing debris off the southbound lanes of I-75 near Lake Park. Wreckers are removing what's left of a tractor trailer that flipped over the guard rail.

Pieces of the guard rail were scattered along the shoulder of the interstate, along with several items from the Old Dominion Trailer including mattresses, sanitizing supplies, and tires.

"I never will forget that," said Jerry Kennedy, Valdosta Technical College Truck Driving Instructor. "I never will forget that crunching, grinding metal you hear that was an awful sound in a wreck."

Kennedy was in a wreck similar to this one. A truck hit him in the rear going 90 miles per hour. He was able to gain control like the front driver in this accident.

"It was a severe impact," said Kennedy. "You felt like you just got hit by a bull or something the impact was so hard."

He advises students in his class to rest up for the next day's drive.

"Some of the dangers are following too close, going to sleep at night," said Kennedy. "The best advice I'd give to students is get you a good night's rest."

He says federal laws allow for 11 hours behind the wheel per day and four hours working around the truck like loading and unloading.

The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team is still investigating.

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