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Driver plows into group of teenagers
burn pit car

Three people were injured in an accident that happened March 13, shortly after midnight. According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper, David Laff a woman since identified as Catherine Poppell, 18, of Long County plowed into a group of teenagers who were gathered before a bon fire in the 300 block of Persimmons Blvd NE.


Laff reported that Poppell was involved in an altercation with her boyfriend when she entered a family member’s 2010 Toyota Corolla. Poppell allegedly hit the gas and drove onto the lawn of a residence directly across the street striking a parked Nissan Altima. Poppell then continued driving into the path of a group of people congregating around the bon fire and standing near the Nissan.  


According to a witness, Alexandra Smith, who owns the home where the accident took place the group ranged in ages from 15 to 20 and included her children.  


Laff said the most seriously injured person was taken by Medical helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. According to Smith the unidentified female, who is 16, has under gone surgery to an injury to her leg and back.  


Another injured victim was identified by her mother Deanna Marlow as Rachel Yerty 19. Marlow said her daughter witnessed the vehicle traveling towards them and thought it was going to stop but it didn’t. Yerty was thrown to the ground and suffered bruised ribs and chest, a sprained ankle and bruises to her leg.  She was taken to the hospital and released later the same morning according to Marlow.


A male was also injured and treated at the scene the extent of his injuries are unknown.

Laff said Poppell was arrested at the scene and has since been charged with failure to maintain lane, DUI less safe, which is a misdemeanor pending the outcome of her blood draw and serious injury by vehicle, a felony.  It is not certain which detention facility she is being housed in but will be making an appearance before a magistrate on Monday in Long County.


The accident will be investigated by the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT)

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