Tifton Gazette


January 14, 2014

Crash on I-75 claims a life, shuts down roadway

TIFTON — A three-vehicle wreck on Interstate 75 Tuesday morning has left one man dead and two others injured.

According to Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Ryan Harding, the accident was reported at 10:25 a.m. approximately 0.2 miles from Exit 64, northbound. He said traffic was slowing down due to a wreck that had occurred moments earlier.

A semi-truck was stopped in the middle lane, and a Prius, driven by 54-year-old Russell Poling of Orlando, Fla., was in the inside lane. Harding said they’re unsure if the Prius was slowing down or stopped completely when an Envoy, also traveling in the inside lane, collided with the vehicle. He said the Envoy was unable to stop to avoid the collision and made impact to the rear of the Prius, which then hit the semi. The GSP, Tifton Police Department, Tift County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Services and Tifton-Tift County Fire Department responded to the scene.

Harding said Poling died from the wreck. The two occupants of the Envoy sustained injuries and were transported to Tift Regional Medical Center. Both are from Hernando, Fla. The driver received minor injuries and the passenger was taken to a Macon hospital for treatment. The driver of the semi received no injuries. All three vehicles sustained damages. Harding didn’t have the names of the semi driver or occupants of the Envoy in front of him at the time.

He said the investigation is ongoing and is being investigated by the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team. Charges are pending.

Following the accident, all northbound lanes of I-75 at milepost 63.8 (between Exit 63 and U.S. Highway 41) were closed and traffic was routed off the interstate at Exit 63 onto Whiddon Mill Road to Carpenter Road and then to Zion Hope Road. Traffic was being let back onto I-75 at Exit 64. Detours were maintained by local law enforcement and the GSP. All lanes were later opened sometime between 1 and 2 p.m.

To contact reporter Latasha Ford, call 382-4321.

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  • public safety awards.tif

    Pictured are the honorees of Thursday night's annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet by the Tifton Elks Lodge. Shown, from left, are Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, Eddie Brown with the Tift County Emergency Medical Services, Sgt. Debbie Pyles with the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Police Department, Sgt. Bart Walker with the Omega Police Department, Officer of the Year honoree Thomas Catanzarita with the Tift County Sheriff's Office Jail Division, Deputy Jonathan Toledo with the TCSO, Brandi Conway with the Tifton-Tift County Animal Shelter, Georgia State Patrol Trooper Ben Taylor, Officer Brian Shockley with the Tifton Police Department and volunteer Firefighter Brian Fincher with the Chula Fire Department.

    LEOs and first responders honored at banquet

    A room full of local law enforcement and first responders were honored Thursday night by the Tifton Elks Lodge at their annual Public Safety Officer Appreciation and Awards Banquet for their service in the community.
    Prior to the awards being given out, Louise Spradley, who organized the banquet, welcomed everyone, and the invocation and pledge were led by the Tift County Sheriff's Office Honor Guard.

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