Five fatalities in Seminole County crash - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Five fatalities in Seminole County crash

September 2, 2006

Seminole County -- Just one day into the labor day weekend, and the holiday is already proving deadly. The Georgia State Patrol is reporting several fatalities in the area.

Five people are dead today after a late night crash in Seminole County. GSP says a man driving an RV plowed into a Ford Explorer carrying a family of four.

GSP says the accident happened when 44-year-old Michael Blanchard ran a stop sign and hit the the Cone family of Marietta, GA. Troopers also say this accident is a reminder of how dangerous the roadways can be.

This pile of debris is all that's left of the RV driven by Albany man Michael Blanchard.

Crews were on site more than 15-hours after the crash cleaning up the mess.

"That's the motorhome right there on the truck on the trailor, one load's already gone, it's tore all to pieces," said clean up crew member Earl Boyett.

It happened around ten Friday night at the intersection of River Road and Highway 91 South, just a few miles from the Florida line.

GSP says Blanchard was driving east on River Road when he struck a Ford Explorer driven by 46-year-old Joseph Cone of Marietta. There were three passengers inside the SUV. Cone's wife Madeline and the couple's 4-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

State troopers say all five were taken to the hospital, but everyone involved in the wreck was dead when EMS arrived.

"That is just a reminder that you cannot be too careful on the roadways, especially when you have high traffic volumes, you have to look in all directions, you have to be a very attentive driver," said Sgt. Scott Woodell.

The mangled motorhome is a reminder of how deadly Georgia roads can be. Earl Boyett spent the day picking up the pieces, and says it's awful to think of how many people died.

"It's just real bad because there was a lot of lives lost in this incident, with both families. I don't know the families, but it was just a bad accident," said Boyett.

The accident happened just a few miles north of the Florida State line.

We're told that the Cone family of Marietta was on the way to spend Labor Day weekend in Destin, Florida.

Albany man Michael Blanchard was also on the way for a weekend vacation with his family.

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