Semi-truck crashes into wagon killing 5 year old boy -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Semi-truck crashes into wagon killing 5 year old boy

November 11, 2006

Alapaha - - An annual small town festival ended on a tragic note Saturday. Three people are dead, one of them a small child, after a semi-truck ran into a carriage transporting a family from that festival. 

No one expected it to happen. Each year people in Alapaha gather for the city's Station Celebration Parade. Everything went smoothly...until the very end.

It's a deadly scene that wasn't supposed to be. Every year one family in particular sticks out at the city of Alapaha's annual parade.

"The people in Alapaha and all Berrien County look forward to seeing the Joyce family in the old covered wagon pulled by the mules because that's like the old days," says Berrien County Sheriff Jerry Brogden.

They've done it for 20 years. But it never ended like this. As the family left the parade, headed west on Highway 520 towards their home in Enigma, tragedy hit.

"They were over in the right hand lane on 520, they had a 'slow moving' emblem sign on the back of their wagon. The semi headed west on 520 also ran into the back of them," Brogden says.

Six people were on that wagon, at least 2 were children.

John Joyce, who would've turned 76 this month, along with 45 year old Franklin Joyce, and a 5 year old boy died.

"I seen them in the parade. You never thought this would happen? No," says Jacquelyn Fuller who stopped and helped, offering iced water to authorities investigating the crash.

To her and many others in this small, family-oriented town, it just doesn't make sense.

"Nobody ever expected a good day to turn out like this."

Two of the family members died at the scene. The other four were taken to Tift Regional Hospital.

That's where the 75 year old man was also pronounced dead. The two mules carrying the carriage also died.

The driver of that semi has not been charged yet. He too was taken to the hospital. Georgia State Patrol are investigating the accident.