The Savannah Police Department has confirmed Savannah police officer Anthony Christie was fatally injured in one of three crashes early Friday morning on Interstate 16 East.
The first crash happened around 3 a.m. near the Dean Forest Road exit. Serious injuries were reported with this crash.
A second crash happened nearby not long after the first crash, further extending the eastbound lane closures. Details are still limited, but officials say a truck crashed into a Savannah Police cruiser that had responded to the first crash. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating this crash.
Crews still on the scene of one of the crashes along I-16 this morning. We’re hearing reports that this truck may have hit a police car. pic.twitter.com/VY5zqM9DBL— Zach Logan WTOC (@ZachWTOC) May 25, 2018
Then, reports of a third crash with possible entrapment on I-16 eastbound at the Dean Forest Road exit came in around 5:30 a.m. Pooler Fire says two vehicles were involved in this crash. A white car crashed into another car, sending it into a road sign and then a ditch. Both drivers were taken to the hospital.
It looks like the third vehicle accident is a two car accident in the EB lanes of I-16 just before the Dean Forest exit. I’m working to learn more. pic.twitter.com/xzPJM5lPrY— Zach Logan WTOC (@ZachWTOC) May 25, 2018
Some of the other drivers on the road even got a surprise ticket while these crashes were being investigated and scenes cleared. Several drivers were cited after police caught them holding their cell phones trying to take pictures and videos of the crash scenes. Pooler Police say they're not playing around when it comes to keeping both hands on the wheel, especially during the holiday weekend.
All three of these crashes caused hours of delays on this stretch of I-16 East. Traffic was at a standstill, bumper-to-bumper, until police cut off I-16 at I-95, forcing drivers to find alternate routes.
I-16 eastbound is now a ghost town. Both lanes are closed from I-95 to Chatham Parkway. Drivers need to find another way to work this morning. pic.twitter.com/M7kc8v0QwG— Zach Logan WTOC (@ZachWTOC) May 25, 2018
Pooler Police say the third crash sent one driver to the hospital with serious injuries, and charges are pending. An Uber driver told us he saw the first driver driving the wrong way on I-16 and had no idea the impact that crash would have on the rest of the morning.
"You see a lot of headlights, you don't know what side of the highway it's on yet, so as I was getting closer to it, I realized it was coming straight at me, so I got over and all I could think was 'that's an accident,' said Richard McKinzy, Savannah.
I-16 completely reopened to traffic at 10 a.m., according to GSP.
All of these wrecks remain under investigation.
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