MCINTOSH COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Two women from South Carolina have been killed in a wreck on southbound Interstate 95 in McIntosh County.
The wreck occurred near mile marker 61 in the early morning hours Thursday. Mile marker 61 is just after the Highway 17 exit.
A Georgia State Patrol trooper said that a Honda Accord driven by a male was traveling in the southbound lanes when it struck a Volvo with four occupants inside. The Volvo became disabled in the left-hand lanes and the occupants exited the vehicle to seek safety on the shoulder of the road near the guard rails.
While on the roadway a Dodge Nitro occupied with four people struck the Volvo. Within minutes of striking the Volvo, a Chevy Cruise with two occupants struck both the Dodge Nitro and Volvo. A Dodge Ram later struck the Dodge Nitro.
At one point, two women from South Carolina were struck by one of the vehicles. One of the women was transported to Southeast Georgia Health System, Brunswick Campus, and the other woman was pronounced dead at the scene. They have been identified as Julia Brazil and her daughter, Tammie Stafford.
Multiple victims were transported to the hospital in Brunswick and Savannah.
The driver of the Honda Accord, 20-year-old Noe Jose Guillen-Herrera, of Rhode Island, is charged with DUI, two counts of homicide by vehicle, and one count of serious injury by vehicle.
Over the past few years, an alarming trend has been developing for Troop 1′s region, which covers counties in Southeast and Coastal Georgia, when it comes to serious crashes.
“This year in Troop 1, in this region, we’re still on an increase, and if everything goes on pace as it is now, we’ll see a pretty severe increase in the number of prosecutable fatalities in our area,” said Sgt. Brian Screws, GSP, Post 23.
Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team worked about 40 or so serious crashes two years ago in the Troop I region. Last year, that number nearly doubled. This year, the Troop’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team has already work about 4 crashes, including,.and we’re only halfway through the year.
Troopers say the main causes behind serious crashes this year in our region are either distracted driving or driving under the influence.
“I would say a large portion of people that we arrest for driving under the influence, or the crashes that are the result of someone driving under the influence, a lot of times is under the influence of drugs, and just as many times, it’s the result of prescription medication," Sgt. Screws said.
The Georgia State Patrol SCRT is leading the investigation.
Information from the Coastal News Service was used in this report.