Personal injury lawyers are likely to file suit now that the Georgia State Patrol released a preliminary report Wednesday morning that sheds some light on what happened in the crash that killed 5 people Tuesday.
According to the report, a tractor trailer driven by 61-year-old David Gibbons of Pooler failed to stop and hit three passenger cars and one pickup truck before striking another tractor trailer. The second tractor trailer struck a third. The fire involved the first and second tractor trailers and one of the passenger cars.
Prior to the crash, all of the vehicles that were hit were stopped by the construction zone on I16. The tractor trailer that caused the accident was empty and was headed into Savannah and was not equipped with a collision avoidance system.
The five victims have been identified as 39-year-old Wendy Melton of Reidsville, 16-year-old Brittanie Altman of Claxton, 19-year-old Virgil Moody of Hagan, 71-year-old Jerry Earnest of Varnell and 72-year-old Glenda Adams of Cohutta.
Melton, Altman and Moody were in the first passenger car that was struck.
Earnest and Adams were in the car that caught fire.
Officials with GSP say this is just a preliminary report and a Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is conducting a follow-up investigation. Charges are pending the completion of that investigation.