Authorities have described the driver as a 21-year-old Tallahassee woman. The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was hospitalized with serious injuries after the May 24 crash, according to the Georgia State Patrol (GSP). His condition was not clear as of Thursday morning.
🚨#See: A woman is distracted while driving as she flies through the air after being launched into the curve of a truck, as shown in a wild video.
⁰📌#lowndes | #Georgia⁰⁰ Body cam footage of a wild jaw captured by Georgia police shows a distracted woman… pic.twitter.com/noKPeSQnwu
— RAWSALERTS (@rawsalerts) May 31, 2023
The crash happened last week on Route 84 near Valdosta, Ga., after an unrelated incident on the opposite side of the highway, authorities said. Associated Press On Wednesday. The tow truck had its emergency lights activated and was loading the wrecked vehicle around 11:20 a.m. when a 2014 Nissan Altima drove into the truck’s stopped ramp and “vaulted” into the air, GSP said.
Body-camera video from a Lowndes County sheriff’s deputy shows the car flying through the air for less than two seconds and flipping as it flies 120 feet from the tow truck. According to the GSP accident report, when the car crashed on the freeway, it collided with another vehicle and fell another 23 feet on one end. The sheriff’s deputy shouts an expletive before running to the wrecked car.
“1050 rollover!” The deputy yells into his radio, requesting immediate help from EMS responders, according to the video.
Authorities say they don’t know why the motorist drove into the truck’s curve or how fast she was going. The speed limit in this area is 65 mph.
The woman was taken to South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta, more than 70 miles northeast of Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle, for treatment. A sheriff’s deputy was struck by flying debris in the crash, but his injuries were not life-threatening, officials said. The driver of the vehicle was not injured when the Altima landed, authorities said.
A spokesman for the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
It’s unclear if the driver will face charges related to the crash. State law states that a driver who fails to yield to an emergency vehicle faces penalties of up to $500 in fines and three points on their driver’s license.
Georgia’s move on legislation Drivers should slow down and pass through a lane when approaching emergency vehicles — including tow trucks — with flashing lights parked on the shoulder of the highway. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the law was enacted to “address the increasing number of police, emergency technicians and DOT personnel involved in routine traffic stops, accident responses and during highway construction projects. All 50 states have move-in laws.” AAA.
“If traffic is too heavy to proceed safely, drivers should instead slow down below the posted speed limit and be prepared to stop,” Georgia law states.
AAA recommends that drivers stay alert, avoid distractions, watch for emergency vehicles, slow down and stay in one lane if possible.
“Sadly, each year approximately 23 roadside workers and first responders (one every two weeks) lose their lives on the roadside and hundreds more are injured while tending to disabled vehicles,” says AAA.
Georgia State Patrol Lt. Crystal Zion said WSB-TVAn ABC affiliate in Atlanta said video of the crash should serve as a reminder to drivers in and out of the state to pay attention to the road.
“It eliminates distractions like driving fast or phones or other people in the car,” Zion said. “If you see those lights slow, move on.”
The video, which had been viewed millions of times on Twitter as of Thursday morning, was a frightening sight for Louis Kenda, part owner of Kenda Truck Center in Valdosta.
“I can control the load I’m hauling, I can instantly control where it is, and I can control how it gets off my truck. The only thing I can’t control is the drivers,” Kenda said AlwaysABC and NBC affiliate in Albany, Ga. “That’s the worst nightmare.”
Many who watched the video could not believe that the driver survived the horrific accident. The Twitter account for All Georgia summed up the sentiments of those who watched the crash in disbelief:Luckily they survived.”
An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Route 84 as Interstate 84. Article edited.