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Woman, baby narrowly escape vehicle blaze

POSTED: September 13, 2007 5:04 a.m.
A Fort Stewart woman and her 9-month-old baby are lucky to be alive after the vehicle they were traveling in was struck by a log truck and then engulfed by fire minutes later, according to law enforcement authorities.
The two-vehicle wreck occurred at about 3 p.m. Monday on Highway 196 in Gum Branch.
Georgia State Patrol Trooper Rob Barry said the woman, identified as Laura Shumiloff, 27, was driving a 2003 Isuzu Rodeo and turned off Dairy Road heading east on 196 toward Hinesville. She apparently didn’t see the tractor-trailer that headed west on the highway 196.
The truck driver, David Tyson, was reportedly unable to stop and struck the Rodeo.
The impact sent the 1999 Peterbuilt tractor-trailer into a ditch, where it rolled over, dumping logs alongside the road.
Shumiloff was able to get out of her SUV and remove the child minutes before the vehicle caught fire.
The woman and child were taken to Winn Army Hospital by Liberty EMS. Neither of them was seriously injured and both were later released.
The truck driver, who is employed with Hern Logging Company in Richmond Hill, also escaped with only minor injuries.
Traffic on Highway 196 was halted for about three-and-a-half hours. Members of the Gum Branch Volunteer Fire Department, and GSP worked to clean up diesel fuel, logs and debris.
The wreck remains under investigation.

Freelance writer Lewis Levine contributed to this story.
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