Another accident on dangerous stretch of Highway 56

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March 26, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Four people were sent to the hospital after an accident on Mike Padgett Highway earlier today.

Deputies say a Dodge pickup rear-ended another truck that was turning left and forced that driver into oncoming traffic. A minivan was hit head on as a result.

That particular stretch of highway is known for its many frequent accidents. There have been over half a dozen fatal accidents and dozens of other accidents there since 1996.

This latest accident wasn't a fatal, but residents say with a track record like that it very well could have been.

On August 7, 2003, an 18 wheeler killed a mother and her baby.

On August 24, 2004, at the intersection of Highway 56 and Goshen Road, a Trans Am and pickup hit each other.

On October 11, 2006, a mother and daughter are killed after their car runs into the back of an 18 wheeler.

This past Saturday there was an accident involving two semi trucks. A trucker heading north lost control and started going down the highway sideways.

And now this latest accident. Rogers Jones and other residents who live near the strip of road say danger is something they've unfortunately had to live with for some time.

"There's been a few in this area, within the half mile radius of this accident here...been quite a few serious accidents here," Jones said.

He says he believes that if drivers would obey the speed limit, then maybe some accidents could be prevented.

"There are a few speeders from time to time, up and down through here."

"Any time you have cars and you have speed, speed is always going to be a factor in the wreck," said Deputy Jason Singletary with Richmond County's Traffic Division.

Deputy Singletary says it's too soon to tell if speed was involved in this latest crash. He adds that their main focus right now is finding the driver of the truck, who fled the scene.

"We put out the description of the vehicles we're looking for, we have our own division, our own hit and run division and they actually do the legwork and do all the basic work as far as getting with the body shops, and getting a year, model with that...basic police work."

And basic police work is what has Deputy Singletary confident they'll find out who that driver is:

"It varies," he said. "Sometimes it takes a little time, but we usually always catch them."

No one has been charged yet, but the driver of the pickup truck that fled the scene will face multiple charges. Of course, one of the stiffest charges is leaving the scene of an accident.

You may be able to help Richmond County deputies find that driver.

He was driving a brown, newer model Dodge truck. It has front end damage.

The driver is a white male between 20 and 30 years old.

If you have any information, call the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

The four people taken to the hospital are expected to be fine.

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