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Man killed in accident on interstate that backs up traffic for hours

A Tucker, Ga., man was killed and traffic was backed up throughout McDuffie County for hours after a series of accidents on Interstate 20 last week.

0730ThomsonAccident3JB.jpg

Traffic backed up on I-20 in Thomson for about two hours as crews worked to clear an accident that involved five tractor-trailers. Traffic was backed up for seven miles behind the accident.
Photo by Jim Blaylock/Morris News Service
Alaa Muhsin Al-Zirganin, 29, of Tucker, Ga., was driving east in his 1996 Honda Prelude when he hydroplaned and traveled across the median into westbound traffic, Trooper 1st Class Amelio Lamkin said.

A 2004 Lexus SUV driven by Caroline Singletary, 51, of Marietta, Ga., struck the driver's-side door of Mr. Al-Zirganin's vehicle, he said.

Local emergency crews had to cut Mr. Al-Zirganin out and he was airlifted to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital where he later died.

The 3:15 p.m. accident and related clean-up backed up traffic along the interstate and led police to redirect westbound traffic through Thomson off the Samuels exit.

Travelers that were caught near the scene of the accident waited for nearly two hours for traffic to move.

Then, around 5 p.m., while the traffic waited for the removal of a tractor-trailer that had become stuck in the median while waiting for the first wreck to clear, two more tractor-trailers came over the hill and collided as they tried to slam on the brakes, Trooper 1st Class Lamkin said.

One of the trailers was pushed into an embankment, he said, and the other struck a fifth tractor-trailer, which struck the first tractor-trailer sitting in the median.

Jerry Lester, 31, of Auburn, Ala., was the only person hurt in the wreck. He was taken to MCG with facial cuts and bruises, where he was treated and released.

No one was charged in either of the two wrecks, he said.



Web posted on Thursday, August 5, 2004


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