SAVANNAH — A traffic accident on Interstate 16 near Savannah took the lives of 5 Georgia Southern Students on Wednesday.
The accident, which occurred in Bryan County just outside Savannah, took the lives of five students, with 2 accident victims injured.
Georgia Southern President Brooks Keel released a statement Wednesday regarding the accident:
“It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of a tragedy that took place this morning. Five Georgia Southern students died and two were injured in an early morning crash on I-16 eastbound near Savannah. We are unable to release the names of these students at this time because we are awaiting notification to families.”
The multi-vehicle accident occurred early Wednesday morning, before 6:00 am. Bryan County Sheriff’s Deputy Clyde Smith, who responded to the accident, called it “a bad one”. The county’s EMS Director called it “horrific”.
Reports state that as many as eight vehicles were involved, traveling through an area where traffic had been slowed due to an earlier accident.
Vehicles were lined up to pass the earlier accident when reports state a semi-tractor trailer truck slammed into the rear of a car and crushed it under a tanker truck. The chain reaction caused one of the trucks to be pushed off of the road and the car was engulfed in flames. The tanker truck, fortunately, did not explode.
When first responders arrived on the scene, several vehicles contained victims, including the vehicle that was burning from the accident. The accident occurred near exit 143, one mile west of US 280. Helicopters and ambulances were used to transport victims.