School employee the lone victim in 3-car crash southeast of Waynesboro
Thursday, May 14, 2020
WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An elementary school employee in Burke County died in a crash early Thursday morning.
Shalonda Free-Gardner, 40, was identified later in the afternoon. She was a para-professional at Blakeney Elementary School, the Burke County Sheriff's Office said.
The wreck occurred at 7:42 a.m. at Georgia Highway 24 and Stripp Lane, deputies said. The sheriff's office said it responded to the crash along with rescue crews and Georgia State Patrol troopers.
The drivers of all three vehicles were transported to Burke Medical Hospital, and one has died from injuries suffered in the crash, authorities reported just before 10:20 a.m.
As of that time, the roadway was shut down at Highway 24 and Thompson Bridge Road and at Highway 24 and Kilpatrick Road as the Georgia State Patrol specialized collision reconstruction team worked at the site. Drivers were urged to use alternate routes.
It was at least the second fatal crash within a few hours in the CSRA.
killed the sole person in a Nissan Rogue. It was traveling south on Hudson and had just passed Trolley Line when it left the right side of the road and hit a tree, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
The Burke County Sheriff's Office offered its condolences to the community and the school system.
"The Burke County School community is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of Shalonda Free-Gardner," a statement from the district said. "Ms. Free was an outstanding para-professional at Blakeney Elementary School who cared very deeply about the success and well-being of each and every one of her students. Our thoughts and prayers are with her friends and family."