A Georgia state trooper said that a wreck Thursday on Highway 319 was only a second away from being deadly.

At about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a 1991 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck driven by James Christopher Jackson of Moultrie ran a stop sign at the intersection of 319 and New River Church Road while traveling east, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The Silverado drove into the southbound path of a 1992 Peterbilt semi truck driven by Bobby Ansley of Moultrie.

The semi collided with the front side of the Chevy, sending it spinning into a ditch. The semi and trailer skidded about 275 feet and then jackknifed into the opposite ditch.

Jackson suffered injuries and was taken to Tift Regional Medical Center by Tift County Emergency Medical Services, although witnesses said he was well enough to walk around. Ansley suffered minor injuries but did not immediately seek medical attention.

GSP Trooper Anthony Heath said Jackson was lucky because if the vehicles had collided a second later, the collision would have taken place closer to the center of Jackson’s truck, and he would have likely been killed.

Heath said people should start being extra careful because traffic increases near the summer months.

“This is a lesson that with the high volume of traffic you need to pay closer attention and obey all signs and laws,” he said.

Jackson was cited with failure to yield, having an expired tag and having a slick tire.

The accident caused traffic on 319 to be rerouted for about 1 1/2 hours. The Tift County Sheriff’s Office, the Tifton-Tift County Fire Department, the Division of Motor Carrier Compliance and EMS all participated in helping clean up the accident and clear the way for traffic. Heath said the GSP appreciated the cooperation of the other agencies.

To contact reporter Dusty Vassey, call 382-4321, ext. 208.

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