LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) -
As of 9 p.m. Friday night, WALB has confirmed eight people were hurt in an early afternoon crash that shut down Interstate-75 in Lowndes County Friday.
Corporal Peter Lukas, with the Georgia State Patrol in Valdosta, said a semi driven by 48-year old Henry Phillipain, of Florida, sideswiped a Lexus and a Saturn Vue parked in the emergency lane near mile marker 10 about 1:30 Friday afternoon.
The big rig crashed into some trees on the West side of the road. Phillipain was airlifted to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where, as of Friday night, he was being treated for severe injuries to his legs.
Five people in the other two vehicles were released after being taken by ambulance to receive treatment at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta and two were treated at the scene and released. The five taken to SGMC have been released as of Friday night.
"The semi truck behind me was travelin' down the outside lane," said Lukas. "For some unknown reason, he drove off the shoulder, side swiped both the vehicles, and then went into the wood line behind me."
No charges have been filed yet as the investigation continues. All lanes in both directions were shut down for a while Friday afternoon, and traffic was backed up for hours. The scene was finally cleared around 10 p.m. Friday night.