A 26-year-old Thomson man remained in critical condition at an Augusta hospital on Monday after falling out of the back of a pickup truck onto the roadway near Belle Meade subdivision last Friday night. Authorities say the mishap was alcohol-related.
Trooper First Class Matthew MacDonald of the Georgia State Patrol post in Grovetown identified the injured man as Steve Crockett.
Mr. Crockett was treated at the scene by personnel with the McDuffie County Emergency Medical Services and firefighters/first responders with the McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services. He later was taken by ambulance to the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport where he was airlifted by helicopter to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
He underwent emergency surgery for a head injury, Trooper MacDonald said.
The driver of the truck, Matthew Collin McEver, 19, of the 3500 block of Wire Road, Thomson, has been charged with driving under the influence and causing serious injury by a vehicle, Trooper MacDonald said. The second charge was levied against Mr. McEver on Monday.
Two other passengers in the Chevrolet S10 pickup, Dustin Wayne Hollimon, 18, of the 5300 block of Adams Chapel Road, Dearing and Tresvantis Chambliss, 19, of the 700 block of Cedar Street, Thomson, were both charged with underage consumption of alcohol.
All three young men were taken to the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center.
McDuffie County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jared Land and Thomson Police Chief Joseph D. Nelson responded to the accident call near the intersection of Stagecoach and Scurry roads shortly after 8 p.m.
Trooper MacDonald said Mr. McEver had been traveling east along Stagecoach Road. He swerved the truck from the left lane back into the right lane of the two-lane road, which is believed to have caused Mr. Crockett to fal from the bed of the pickup to the pavement.
A trooper with the state patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstructive Team was called to the scene. The investigation continued Monday.