LOWNDES CO. – Residents in Lowndes County recall a fiery crash on Saturday night at the intersection of Cat Creek and Norman Hall Road.
“I heard a big bang,” says one Cat Creek resident.
“Real quick, Tires skidding then a boom,” says another Norman Hill resident.
The fatal accident happened right in front of Charles Miller’s home.
He says he came out right after hearing the loud noise.
“I was calling 911 and the man was pulling the deputy out of the car,” says Miller.
Georgia State Patrol says the semi stopped at the intersection of Cat Creek, but then pulled out, forcing 39-year-old Lowndes County deputy Michael Butler to hit the tractor trailer head-on.
“I was just hoping that they got out safe because I saw the semi truck on fire and the door open,” says one Norman Hill resident.
GSP says Butler was responding to a violent domestic dispute, with his lights and siren activated.
“We pulled him farther down the road and the woman started giving him CPR,” says Miller.
Miller says the car was smoking, and shortly after, the vehicle caught on fire.
They waited with the deputy until Lowndes County EMS arrived.
He was sad to hear Butler later died of his injuries at SGMC.
“To assist someone like that, it was traumatic for me. I still see his face. I can’t get his face out of my head,” says Miller.
Upset with what happened, Miller and other residents say something needs to be done about the intersection.
“I think it’s because of the shrubs on the side of the road. It needs to be cut down,” says Miller.
The call for change is in hopes that their first fatal accident is also their last.
GSP says the semi was driven by 29-year-old Robbie Register with Swift Trucking.
The crash is still an ongoing investigation, and charges are currently pending.
(WCTV Eyewitness News)
Release from Georgia State Patrol Post 31:
On Saturday at approximately 8:25 p.m. Georgia State Patrol TFC K. Lund was dispatched to a vehicle crash involving a Lowndes County Deputy and a Semi.
The crash occurred at the intersection of Cat Creek Road and Norman Hall Road in Lowndes County. The Lowndes County Deputy was responding to a domestic call that had turned physical. The deputy was traveling north on Cat Creek Road with all of his emergency equipment activated( Lights and Siren).
The semi was traveling east on Norman Hall Road. The driver of the Semi stopped at the stop sign,and then began a right turn off of Norman Hall Road in an attempt to travel south on Cat Creek Road.
As the driver of the Semi was making his right turn, the front on the Semi crossed the center line of Cat Creek Road into the path of the Patrol Car. The patrol car struck the semi on the right front with its front end.
After impact, the patrol car rotated counter clock-wise coming to a final uncontrolled rest facing west partially in the north bound lane of Cat Creek Road and the east shoulder . The semi remained in the roadway of Cat Creek road facing east. After impact with the semi, the patrol car began to burn.
The driver of the semi, a Mr. Robbie J. Register (29 year old male-Tifton Address) exited the semi and pulled the deputy out of and away from the burning patrol car. Upon the Fire Departments arrival, the patrol car was completely engulfed in flames.
Lowndes County EMS arrived and began aiding the deputy.
The deputy, Mr. Michael Butler ( 39 Years old male) was transported to SGMC for treatment. Deputy Butler succumbed to his injuries sustained from the crash a short time later at SGMC.
At the time of this report, the driver is still being interviewed by the GSP Valdosta SCRT investigator. Charges are pending due to the outcome of the final report. The semi is owned by Swift Trucking Co. LLC out of Gary Indiana.
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