January 30, 2006
Sunday's crash on Bobby Jones Expressway left four people dead and two more very badly injured. And the coroner's office just released new information. One of the two victims in critical condition has taken a turn for the better, but doctors at MCG are still keeping her under close watch. News 12 spoke to an officer who saw the whole thing unfold before him.
A pickup truck flipped into the oncoming lane of traffic, causing cars to pile up, and shutting down the expressway for several hours. Richmond County Sergeant Jessie Jackson was almost part of the accident.
"I only had a couple of seconds. I swerved to the right to dodge him, got back behind, went back to the accident scene behind me," Jackson said.
He was the first to call for help. Deputies say the driver of the pickup, 44-year-old Lawrence James Skinner, lost control as he raced another vehicle in the eastbound
Lane. The female passenger was thrown, and orange dots mark where the bodies landed.
"We had people down everywhere," Sergeant Jackson said.
The truck avoided Sergeant Jackson, but hit a small car, leaving tracks as it skidded off the expressway.
The car then ended up down in a ditch, just feet from the road.
Two of the five in the car were critically injured. Thirty-seven year old Gloria Lewis and her 12-year-old niece Tyroneesha died. Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten says this is one of the worst crashes he has seen in Richmond County.
“Very seldom do you have four fatalities in one wreck, possibly two more," Tuten said.
Deputies say five cars have serious damage. A sight Sergeant Jackson won't soon forget.
"It was just a split second, I didn't have a whole lot of time to think," Jackson said.
The wreckage is almost gone, but the memory will stick with him.
And the female passenger who was thrown from the pickup is 45-year-old Janice Fay Stout. Deputies say the drivers of the other vehicles are okay. Deputies say alcohol may be linked to the accident. They will know for sure when a toxicology report comes back on Lawrence James Skinner.
The other racer, Christopher Bush, Jr. is in the Richmond County jail. He faces four counts of vehicular homicide in the first degree and one of reckless driving.