Overturned vehicle backs up I-85 traffic



The Coweta County Fire Department emergency response team aids passengers trapped in the overturned vehicle on I-85 near Grantville during the rain Monday.

A driver lost control of his vehicle on Interstate 85 in Coweta County near Grantville on Monday, flipping his pickup truck and blocking both lanes.

The accident occurred around 4:30 p.m., slowing traffic traveling northbound around mile marker 34 near Grantville. Traffic was later completely stopped around 5:30 for 15 to 20 minutes while the wreckage was cleared. 

According to Grantville Police Department Chief Doug Jordan, Grantville police arrived on scene about five minutes after dispatch, and quick communication between officers and 911 operators helped direct Coweta County Fire and Rescue units to the scene shortly after. One of the passengers was trapped in the vehicle, and with the quick response, he was safely rescued from the wreck.

The driver, Gary Wilkerson, claimed he was driving too fast for the rainy weather conditions, Georgia State Patrol officials said. His Toyota pickup truck hydroplaned, causing him to lose control, which sent the truck off the right lane into the guardrail. The truck completely rolled over and overturned once more to land upside down. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

According to officials, there were four men including the driver in the truck. There were no life-threatening injuries, but two of the passengers, Steven Bunch and Desmond Frick, experienced possibly severe back injuries, authorities said. Bunch was transported to Piedmont Newnan Hospital and Frick was transported to Atlanta Medical Center. 

Wilkerson and the third passenger, Winston Hagans, experienced upper extremity injuries but were not immediately transported to the hospital. All four men were wearing their seat belts, according to officials.

“The quick response of the Coweta County Fire and Rescue to the scene is to be commended,” Jordan said. “The 911 dispatchers also handled the influx of calls of the accident and relayed the needed information to the public safety personnel. If not for their great professionalism communication would be lost.”

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