Early morning fatal semi crash in Valdosta under investigation
The silver Jeep Liberty involved in the crash
The semi truck slid down the hill in front of the Olive Garden restaurant and came to rest upside down
The semi truck's trailer overturned during the crash, spilling the sod it was carrying
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -
The investigation continues into what caused a fatal semi accident in Valdosta early Thursday morning.
Around 1 a.m., 32 year-old Ben David Warren, of Lake Park, got onto I-75 at exit 11 after picking up a load of sod and headed North. But when he tried to exit the interstate at exit 18, he was traveling very fast, causing his semi to collide with an SUV.
"We're still investigating why it didn't slow down. Went off the embankment up here, straight across the ramp. Looked like he tried to make a left turn to somewhat steer the vehicle onto the roadway," explained GSP Trooper Brian Bass. "Before he went off the ramp, he struck a silver SUV, a Jeep Liberty."
As a result of the collision, both vehicles landed in a restaurant parking lot just off of the interstate. "Both vehicles went off the embankment there over the curb and ended up down here in the Olive Garden parking lot."
The driver of the semi, Ben David Warren, was trapped in the semi for a couple of hours as emergency personnel worked to rescue him, but was later pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Jeep Liberty, 23 year-old Micky Halsey, of Valdosta, had to be extricated and was taken by ambulance to South Georgia Medical Center. The passenger in the semi, 31 year-old Jason Boston, of Lake Park, received head wounds but was able to climb out of the cab through a window and was taken to SGMC by family members.
Trooper Bass says it's too early to tell if charges will be filed. "That'll depend on further investigation of the semi truck to determine if there was any mechanical malfunctions, which is a possibility at this time."
Both the driver of the Jeep, Micky Halsey, and the passenger in the semi, Jason Boston, have since been released from the hospital.