GSP troopers stressing safety after weekend wreck on I-16 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GSP troopers stressing safety after weekend wreck on I-16

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Five people involved in a major wreck over the weekend on Interstate 16 continue to recover Monday night.  

Georgia State Patrol troopers are now warning other drivers. That message: pay attention and obey traffic laws.

The latest wreck caused a shutdown for several hours in the eastbound lanes near exit 152 early Saturday morning.

GSP says the driver of an 18-wheeler lost control and turned his truck over just before 2 a.m. And what happened after leaves troopers repeating their usual message.

Troopers say Jide Fredrick-Lloyd lost control and rolled his big rig. Shortly after, Rickie Lance tried to swerve and miss him. Troopers say his truck was rear-ended by Brandon Youmans in the process.

Youmans, his wife Michelle and their daughters Mary and Abigail were all seriously injured.

"Make sure they limit the distractions inside the vehicle," said Sgt. Chris Nease with Georgia State Patrol.

Troopers - once again - with that message. Warning drivers in cars and trucks to slow down, buckle up and pay attention.

"When they're traveling at interstate speeds and a crash occurs, usually the damage is more significant," said Sgt. Nease.

State leaders realized that, though. Just one year ago, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal said this when he announced the addition of 60 more patrol troopers.

"The increase in vehicle enforcement personnel that we are announcing here today will aid in the slowing and reversing of this upward trend in commercial motor vehicle accident,” said Gov. Deal.

Many will tell you it has not.  In fact, posts here are still undermanned. Post 42 - covering Effingham, Chatham, and Bryan counties - is eight troopers short of a full staff.

It won't stop them from doing their job, though.

"We just go out there with the resources we have, and we do what we can and try to make whatever difference we can. Even if it saves, stops one crash or saves one life, then our part of the job is done," said Sgt. Nease.

But the most effective deterrent won't come from a trooper sitting in a median, but the drivers sitting behind the wheel. 

Fredrick-Lloyd is charged with failure to maintain lane. He was taken to Memorial for the treatment of his injuries.

Michelle and Brandon Youmans were airlifted to the hospital. Their two children were taken by ambulance.

Lance and his wife were not injured.

We have not been able to get a status update from Memorial Health at this time.

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