Only On 12: Driver flies off I-20 bridge onto Washington Road, survives

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

Sunday night, July 16, a man crashed into an I-20 guardrail, sending him and his truck over the edge and 22 feet down.

Somehow he survived after being thrown from the truck onto Washington Road.

26-year-old Jose Garcia told News 12's Stephanie Baker his story.

Officers say it's a miracle Garcia survived, and that his truck didn't hit anyone else when he drive off the I-20 bridge. Now, Garcia is recovering in the hospital, trying to remember what happened after he answered his cell phone.

Crushed glass, twisted metal, and busted tires...the Chevy pickup truck is destroyed after the 22-foot fall from I-20.

But doctors expect Jose Garcia to be just fine. As he recovers at MCG, he tells us about the moments leading up to the crash.

"I was driving, I pick up the cell phone, and I don't know what happened."

He picked up the cell phone...and woke up here.

"I don't remember," Garcia says, shaking his head.

Officers say Garcia was going east on I-20 when he lost control over Washington Road.

The vehicle slammed into the right side and then bounced off to the left. The red Chevy crashed through and flipped off the side.

"He had God on his side last night," says Trooper First Class Amelio Lamkin of the Georgia State Patrol.

Trooper Lamkin says Garcia was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected into the middle of Washington Road.

"It's amazing," Lamkin says. "If anyone had been on Washington Road, it would have been a fatality."

But Jose Garcia says he's doing just fine.

The Georgia State Patrol says the investigation is complete, and they don't think there was excessive speed or alcohol involved. State law does not require pickup truck drivers to wear seatbelts.

The accident happened around 9:00 Sunday night. That's a time when other people are still on the road...and that's why officers say it's a miracle there weren't any fatalities.

Garcia is in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Georgia State Patrol says Garcia faces charges of driving without a license and failure to maintain lanes.


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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