I-20 accident leaves woman dead

By: Diane Cho
By: Diane Cho

60-year-old Patricia Cary of Columbia died Sunday night, April 16 when her car crashed into a tractor-trailer.

It happened just before the Washington Road exit going eastbound about a half-mile away from the Warren Road bridge.

News 12's Diane Cho was on the scene.

"I heard several terrible bangs and I ran out and grabbed a phone," says Jimmy Heath. He was working in his garage when he heard what sounded like bombs going off in his backyard. "When I heard it I knew, I didn't have to see it, I knew it was a bad accident."

Just a hundred feet from his home, what he found was something he could have never imagined.

"We knew there wasn't anything we could do. We felt pretty helpless," he says.

Officers on the scene say a gray Cutlass ricocheted off the concrete barriers in the eastbound lane several times, eventually flying over the top and slamming into a red semi-truck headed the other direction.

But that wasn't all. The Cutlass came back into the eastbound lanes, striking the barrier one last time before spinning to a stop upside down.

Those who saw the aftermath say they knew it was only a matter of time before something like this would happen.

"I was telling my son earlier today, since they put the construction in there, there would be a wreck here one day. Not four, five hours later, we get called," says Leonard Wetharsbee of Edwards Paint and Body, who was called out to tow the wreckage.

The coroner says the driver was most likely speeding through the construction area.

"I ask for everyone to pay attention to what happened here today and to slow down so this don't happen again...and pray for that family," Wetharsbee says.

The coroner says the driver died of massive blunt force trauma.


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