(Courtesy Jackie Brown via WMAZ Macon)
(Courtesy Chris and Steven Gore via WMAZ Macon)
DUBLIN, Ga. -- At least four people were killed and a dozen others were hurt Wednesday in a massive pileup on westbound Interstate 16 near Montrose in Laurens County. That's between Macon and Savannah.
The Georgia State Patrol has released the names of the four victims who died as a result of this accident. The victims have been identified as: Michael Jarome Smith, 52, of Covington, Jeff Moore of Effingham County and Clayton and Josephine Warnock of Dublin.
The fiery morning crash occurred at around 8:10 a.m. between mile markers 36 and 37. It involved 27 vehicles, including seven commercial vehicles and a tanker truck that caught fire, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation and Laurens County EMS Director Terry Cobb. Fog was reported in the area at the time.
The Georgia State Patrol said its preliminary investigation indicates the pileup resulted from four separate chain-reaction crashes.
Martha Strickland of Dublin said she and her daughter drove through at around 8:30 a.m. on the eastbound side of I-16, which was clear but clouded with smoke.
"If only three people died, it will be a miracle," she said. "It was just destruction. It was like a war zone."
The injured were taken to Fairview Park Hospital in Dublin.
Both eastbound lanes of I-16 are open in Laurens County however, but one westbound lane remains closed. Westbound drivers can detour at exit 39. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate routes.
For the latest traffic conditions around metro Atlanta, visit 11Alive.com/traffic.
(WMAZ Macon contributed to this report.)