Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 2, 2009

Four die in I-75 accident

Road rage suspected in Lowndes County wreck

VALDOSTA — Road rage may have been behind an early morning fiery crash that took the lives of four people Thursday.

The three-vehicle collision occurred about 2:30 a.m. in the southbound lanes between Exits 16 and 18 on Interstate 75.

Sgt. Carl Taylor with the Georgia State Patrol said that the driver of a black Honda was on the phone with Lowndes County 911 reporting the aggressive behavior of the driver of a silver Saturn when both vehicles were struck by a Penske rental truck.

The driver of the Honda reported that the driver of the Saturn was attempting to stop or block him, Taylor added.

“At this point, they were in the middle and right southbound lanes on the

Interstate,” he continued.

The Honda and the Saturn were either stopped or nearly stopped when the rental truck came up on them in the right lane, Taylor added. The driver of the Penske rental truck made an effort to go to the left to avoid hitting the Honda and the Saturn, he said. However, the truck’s right rear struck the left rear of the Honda and the truck’s front end struck the rear end of the Saturn.

Taylor said that the three vehicles traveled 30 or so yards before coming to a rest in the middle lane of southbound I-75. At that time, he said that the driver of the truck and another person pulled the driver from the Saturn, which had already started to burn.

“They were unable to extract the other occupants due to the fire,” he added. “The driver died on the scene (possibly from injuries sustained during the accident). The other three died most likely as a result of the fire.”

Taylor said that the four who died in the accident have been identified as Jerome Roberts, 40, Cheryl Collins, 41, Mahronda Collins, 20, and 11-year-old August Roberts, all of Midway, Ky. The occupants of the Honda and Penske rental truck escaped the accident without any serious injuries.

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