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March 30, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, July 20th 2002 at 5:58am

Six dead after accident on Interstate 75 in south Georgia

ADEL - A tractor trailer and a minivan collided on Interstate 75 in south Georgia on Friday, triggering a five-vehicle accident that killed six people and forced the closure of the highway.

Officials said two tractor-trailers, the minivan and one sports utility vehicle were involved in the accident shortly before 3 p.m. in northern Cook County, about 25 miles north of Valdosta.

``This is one of, if not the worst, accidents with the amount of injuries and deaths that we have seen occur at one time in Cook County,'' sheriff's Sgt. Terry Arnold said.

Officials believed that all six killed were passengers in the van that crashed into one of the tractor-trailers.

The driver of the rig, Donald Herndon, got out and pulled the van driver out of his vehicle, said Cpl. Don Whitaker of the Georgia State Patrol.

Heavy summer traffic both north and south stopped abruptly. Officials detoured traffic as wreckers hauled away debris. Herndon's rig was still burning in the median at 7 p.m., although the interstate was reopened.

Also Friday, Kelley Burke, 17, of Hendersonville, Tenn., died as a result of injuries in one of two other fatal accidents within the same 25-mile stretch of I-75.

Burke and three other young 17- and 18-year-old girls were reportedly returning to their home in Tennessee on Thursday afternoon after a beach trip at the time of their accident in a construction zone.

John R. Schrader, 36, Whiteland, Ind., died Wednesday after his accident on I-75, in which his car traveled about .10 of a mile through grass and small trees before coming to rest in the woods.
Associated Categories: State News

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