UPDATE: morning accident claims one life; injures 2 others
WHITEFIELD COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -
UPDATE: The Georgia State Patrol has identified the victims in Wednesday morning's fatal accident as Kenniqua Johnson, 26; Famica Hill, 32 and LaKendra Taylor, 34.
Johnson died in the accident; Hill was airlifted to Erlanger and Taylor was transported to Hamilton Medical Center for examination and treatment.
All three of the vehicle's occupants are from Chattanooga. Authorities have not yet been able to determine who was driving at the time of the accident.
The GSP also stated in a news release that the driver lost control of the vehicle when the left front tire blew, which caused the car to leave the interstate, going down and embankment and overturn. One woman is dead and two others injured after an early morning wreck on I-75 northbound in Whitfield County. The crash happened around 5 a.m. near mile marker 338 north of Dalton.
Tommy Sturdivan of the Georgia State Patrol says all three females were ejected from the Ford Crown Victoria; none of the occupants were wearing seatbelts. One of the women ejected from the vehicle crawled up the embankment to flag down a passing motorist for help.
"The vehicle loses control and it begins to rotate clockwise off the interstate, travels across the lanes, over onto the grass shoulder and down a steep embankment," said Tommy Sturdivan, GSP.
It appears a tire blew or deflated gradually, contributing to and perhaps causing the accident, which claimed one life and seriously injured the two other females in the vehicle.
Alcohol is likely a factor.
"The on-scene trooper stated that there was a strong smell of alcoholic beverage in the car and around the occupants," Sturdivan said. "There was an empty bottle, or a partially empty bottle located next to the vehicle."
Sturdivan said the car's seats were still in good condition and that everyone could have survived with seatbelts.
"Let's say the car was going 40 mph while overturning, that means your body is being thrown through the air at 40 mph," Sturdivan said.
Troopers shut down the two right lanes of I-75 northbound for a couple hours as crews worked to clear and reconstruct the crash. One person is dead and two others are seriously injured in a single vehicle crash on Interstate 75 northbound near mile marker 338.
A vehicle left the interstate and went down an embankment, according to Georgia State Patrol. When the vehicle came to a rest it was overturned. Troopers responded to the crash site at 5:18 a.m. north of the Rocky Face exit.
One person was airlifted to Erlanger and another person was taken to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton.
Two left lanes on the interstate re-opened at about 6:45 a.m.