Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 30, 2013

Wreck victim identified

VALDOSTA — A man who was killed when the tractor-trailer he was driving hit bridge supports on Interstate 75 Saturday has been identified.

Troy Lee Whitt, 43, of Winter Springs, Fla., died from blunt force trauma, said Brad Carter, deputy coroner for Lowndes County.

Just before 1 p.m. Saturday, a tractor-trailer southbound on I-75 struck a pillar of the Old Clyattville Road overpass at Exit 13, according to SFC L. Carl Taylor with Georgia State Patrol. The truck was quickly engulfed in flames, said Taylor.

Initial reports from law enforcement on the scene indicated that the truck had been stolen from a truck stop in the Cordele area, but the truck was not reported as stolen, said Taylor.

The owner of the truck had left his vehicle when another person drove off with it.

The owner then hitchhiked to follow the truck on I-75, according to law enforcement on the scene, but it is unclear why the truck was not reported as stolen.

There were no signs that drugs or alcohol were involved in the wreck and no autopsy is planned, Taylor said.

Traffic was snarled for hours in all directions and Old Clyattville Road was closed to traffic at the overpass, forcing motorists into detours.

The Georgia Department of Transportation was on the scene to investigate the structural integrity of the bridge, and the initial impression following the wreck was that there were no perceived structural issues with the bridge, said Taylor.

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