Fiery Truck Crash Kills 4 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fiery Truck Crash Kills 4

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October 30, 2004

Tift County -- Deputies says it's one of the worst multi-car accidents they've seen. The fiery crash happened around 9:30 Saturday morning on I-75 South in Tift County.

An accident on the interstate stopped drivers, but a Onyx Trash truck driver didn't see the halted traffic and plowed through almost a dozen vehicles.

Troopers work to clear the smoldering remains of fiery crash on I-75 South in Tift County that claimed the lives of at least 4 people. Witnesses say it started when a small accident caused traffic on the busy highway to stop.

But, the driver of Onyx trash truck either wasn't paying attention or couldn't see through the thick fog and plowed through almost a dozen vehicles.

"He went right through the center of two lanes and hit 6 or 7 cars. He went down and then he caught on fire himself," says witness Harley Crump.

Several cars caught fire. Travelers like Crump ,headed to Orlando for vacation, tried their best to save people stuck in the wreckage.

"We got the truck driver out. Thank goodness a paramedic must have be going north and they stopped and helped," says Crump.

8 people were transported to Tift Regional Hospital. Investigators say it's too early to say for sure why the trucker didn't stop.

"I'm sure that fog was a factor because there was heavy fog this morning," says Sergeant Donald Whitaker of GSP.

For travelers stuck in massive traffic jam for more than 3 hours, the experience made them count their blessing.

"This is the worse accident I have seen in my life and I just hope those persons rest in peace," says one witness.

Investigators haven't released the name of the truck driver,who survived, or the names of 4 victims.

It could be several days before investigators determine the cause of the crash and whether charges will be filed.

posted at 6:30PM by scott.hunter@walb.com