Accident leaves I-75 Closed with Injuries Reported

| September 1, 2015

Accident

VALDOSTA — The Georgia State Patrol is reporting an accident with injuries on Interstate 75 just north of the Florida border.  Traffic was stopped for nearly an hour as first-responders administered to the injured.

Sunday afternoon, Trooper First Class Patrick Orr was dispatched to an accident with injuries on I-75 southbound near mile marker 7 in Lowndes County.

He reported that a tractor trailer driven by Thomas Cantrell, 72 of Lakeland, FL was traveling south on I-75 in the center lane of traffic.  Reports state a Toyota Tundra, towing a Ford Ranger with the use of a car dolly, was traveling south in the right lane of traffic, attempting to pass the tractor trailer.

The driver of the Toyota, identified as Daniel Young, 28 of Ft. Myers, worked to manage the trailer as it started swaying back and forth vigorously. When the Toyota traveled slightly ahead of the tractor trailer, but still alongside of the cab, the driver to the Toyota lost control.

The Toyota traveled left into the lane of travel of the tractor trailer. The tractor trailer driver then traveled left towards the median, trying to avoid impact.

Despite his efforts, the tractor trailer struck the Toyota on the median paved shoulder.

After impact, the Toyota rotated clockwise and came to rest facing southwest in the center lane. The tractor trailer struck the median guardrail and came to rest in the median facing south.

The Toyota, with 6 occupants in it, reported 3 with injuries. One injured passenger, Dannie Phillips, 67 of Ft. Myers, who was sitting on the front right passenger side of the Toyota, was life-flighted to Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville with a head trauma. He is in critical condition.

The rest of the injured were transported by ground to South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

Young was charged with failure to maintain lane and too fast for conditions. All lanes of I-75 southbound were closed approximately one hour. Two lanes were reopened leaving an additional lane closed for an additional two hours.

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