Victim named in I-75 beer truck crash

Published: Dec. 8, 2014 at 1:16 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM EST
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Officials shut down two lanes of traffic for about 4 hours, and later reopened them.
Officials shut down two lanes of traffic for about 4 hours, and later reopened them.
The semi-truck was carrying a load of beer.
The semi-truck was carrying a load of beer.

LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - The victim has been named after a fatal crash involving two semi-trucks and a compact sedan on I-75 early Monday morning.

Georgia State Patrol said the driver of a silver Ford Focus, 30 year-old Shawn Ryster, died in the crash.

But the details of the accident were still largely unknown Monday evening. "All we know is, we have one semi in the front, the Ford car hit the first semi in the rear and then the second semi rear ended the vehicle, the other car," explained GSP Corporal Will West.

The driver of the first semi, Leon Calliway, who was headed to Miami after spending the night in Valdosta, got off at exit 11 and pulled into the Pilot gas station where he called 911 and said he had been involved in an accident.

"That vehicle was a cab and chassis. Just the semi itself, it didn't have a trailer with it," said Cpl. West. "It sustained minor damage to the rear of the vehicle."

The second semi, carrying a trailer full of beer, overturned and crashed into the woods on the side of the highway after rear-ending the Ford Focus. Its driver, Deebee Patrick, was taken to South Georgia Medical Center but was released around 1 p.m. Monday.

Late Monday afternoon, troopers still weren't sure exactly what happened to the car after it was rear-ended.

"At this point, we really don't know due to the amount of damage and the speeds that were involved with it as well. It created a large debris field," Cpl. West stated.

Crews also had to take time to remove as much of the beer from the overturned semi as possible before attempting to remove the semi itself, causing one lane of I-75 to be shut down until about 3 p.m. Monday.

GSP's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team continued to investigate the crash Monday afternoon. Cpl. West said they wouldn't have any idea as far as charges are concerned until the investigation was complete.

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