Colquitt County wreck claims a life - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Colquitt County wreck claims a life

July 10, 2007

Colquitt County - - A fiery wreck late Tuesday afternoon killed a man, blocked a highway, and shocked people who live near the crash site. That scene was just north of Norman park on Highway 319.

"I was laying in the bed asleep at home and I heard a big boom. I came outside," says Joshjua Wisham who lives near the scene.

After he saw what happened, he called 911.

"As I was at the end of the driveway, I looked down here and I saw this semi and it wasn't on fire yet. That's when that tanker on the other side caught on fire."

It went up in flames.

"When that tank went up you could feel the heat. I was walking down that guardrail and you could feel the heat when the diesel went up."

Firefightsrs say when it happened you could see smoke in the sky some 16 miles away.

"I was about the 4th or 5th firefighter on the scene," says Michael Chafin.

When he arrived, the truck hauling a Walmart trailer was burning.

"It took us about 10 or 15 minutes to get it pretty well contained to what you see now."

Investigators say the driver of a Buick LaSabre was driving south on Highway 319 when suddenly he crossed the center lane. Troopers don't know yet how that happened, but they say the truck driver was left with few options.

"There was another tractor trailer on the right side of him. He was unable to avoid the contact," says Trooper Jeff Hobby.

The driver died on the scene.

"I think its terrible. lost a life like that," Wisham says.

Troopers blocked off the southbound lane of 319 for about 3 hours as work crews cleaned up the road. Troopers have not yet released the victim's identity, only saying he's a black man in his 40's.

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