CALHOUN CO., Ga. (WALB) - Three people died and another is in critical condition, after a wreck on SR 216 in Calhoun County Wednesday evening, according to Georgia State Patrol (GSP).
Two of the victims have been identified, according to Brandon Winns, Calhoun County coroner.
Javon Smith, 18, and Jimmy Moses Butler Jr. ,18, are two of the three who died in the crash. The other victim’s name has not been released yet.
The driver of the vehicle was airlifted to Tallahassee, Florida and is currently stable and trying to regain his strength so he can come home, according to family members. The driver’s name is Emory Echols, 19.
Troopers said all the victims are from Calhoun County.
The single-vehicle wreck happened around 5 p.m. near mile marker 3 between Arlington and Edison, according to GSP.
The cause of the crash was found to be a tire blowing out, which caused the vehicle to hit a tree. The vehicle split in half and all four were ejected, and the vehicle then caught fire, officials said.
Two GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team members investigated the cause of the crash.
GSP said multiple agencies responded to the accident.
WALB News 10′s, Madison McClung spoke with family members Thursday.
“He was a goofy child. Loved to make everybody laugh,” says Daphene Ford, the mother of Jimmy Moses Butler Jr.
“I am going to miss his laugh. I am going to miss him running through the house yelling and now I am just going to have to keep those memories,” says Ford.
Ford says losing her son has been hard but having the Calhoun County community has helped her remember just how special her son was to so many.
“We have been getting a lot of support from everybody. From family, friends, from people that don’t even know my son, so it really means a lot to us,” says Ford.
Emory Echols brother, Jerrek Solite says he is thankful his brother is recovering but he is really going to miss the other boys.
“Those guys are really like my best friends. I am still praying for my brother to get right and I am praying for the families.”
The Calhoun County School District posted on its Facebook page that it will be having a candlelight vigil this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. The school system will also be praying for the recovery of Emory Echols.