LAURENS CO., GA (WTOC) - The Georgia State Patrol released the names of four people killed Wednesday morning in a 27-vehicle crash on Interstate 16 in Laurens County, Ga.
Michael Jarome Smith, 52, of Covington; Joel Moore, of Effingham County; and Clayton and Josephine Warnock, of Dublin, were killed in the crash that happened just after 8 a.m.
Crash investigators said the fiery wreck could involve as many as 10 separate crashes with 27 total vehicles, according to the Georgia State Patrol. The crashes occurred at about 8:10 a.m. between mile markers 36 and 37 on I-16 westbound. Both eastbound lanes are now open. The westbound lanes remain closed. The outside westbound lane will remain closed through the night.
Seven commercial vehicles involved including an empty tanker that ruptured and caught fire. The tanker driver survived but was injured.
It started with a chain-reaction crash, as other vehicles approached the first crash, separate chain-reaction crashes then occurred, according to GSP. Georgia Dept. of Transportation workers were about to post signs warning drivers about the fog when the crash occurred.
"As they were responding or getting ready to respond, we received the first call of a crash and then as a result of the first crash and limited visibility, we had a chain-reaction crash, domino effect, series of wrecks," said GSP's Sfc. Ken Deloach.
Those injured are being treated at Fairview Park Hospital.