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I-95 wreck kills toddler
1230 McIntosh wreck
A wreck Sunday on I-95 in McIntosh County involving a tractor trailer and a minivan killed a 3-year-old boy and injured four members of a family from Pittsburgh. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine
The 18-wheel tractor trailer that plowed into a Pittsburgh family’s van killing a 3-year-old boy on Sunday is believed to have been going too fast for traffic conditions, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
The truck’s driver, Willie Hill, 50, of Jacksonville, told the GSP he was driving 65-68 miles per hour before crashing into the family’s minivan, according to GSP Sgt. Bruce Deloach. Deloach, who worked the scene of the accident, said the traffic flow on that stretch of Interstate 95 had slowed to a crawl.
“The victims were only driving about five miles an hour,” he said. “Traffic was at a standstill, barely creeping along.”
Hill was transporting paper rolls he had just loaded onto his rig at Interstate Paper in Riceboro, according to Deloach.
“He (Hill) was on his way to Gulfport, Miss.,” the GSP officer said.” He’d only been on the interstate for about five miles before the accident.”
The accident occurred in clear weather at approximately 12:35 p.m. Sunday, at mile marker 62 on I-95 South in McIntosh County. The truck slammed into the family’s 2007 Toyota Sienna, pushing it off the road and into some woods.
The Georgia State Patrol’s specialized collision reconstruction team, based in Reidsville, is assisting with the accident investigation, Deloach said. The trooper emphasized the investigation can take six months to a year to complete. Then a report will be filed with the McIntosh County District Attorney’s Office. The DA will then decide if charges should be filed against the truck driver, he said.
Hill was taken by a Life Flight helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. The family’s four surviving members also were taken to Memorial in Savannah, two by ambulance and two by helicopter, according to the GSP.
The driver of the van, Susan Thornton, 38, was air lifted by TraumaOne out of Jacksonville to the hospital in Savannah. Her daughter, Sarah Thornton, 5, was flown to the hospital by Life Star of Savannah.
Susan Thornton’s husband, Daniel, 47, was taken by Liberty County EMS to Savannah and their son, Christopher, 8, was taken by Glynn County EMS to Savannah.
Sean Thornton, 3, is believed to have died at the scene. Deloach said a doctor who saw the accident stopped and helped the
Susan Thornton is in critical condition, and her husband, Daniel, is in good condition, according to Michael Notrica, Memorial spokesperson. Notrica said the hospital does not give out information on minors because of privacy laws, so the Thornton children’s conditions are not known.
Hill is in fair condition, the hospital spokesman said.
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