LONG COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - One person has been arrested after running over three people in Long County early Saturday morning, according to Georgia State Patrol. The single-vehicle crash happened on the 300 block of Persimmons Boulevard NE. Three teenagers were injured in the incident, and two are in the hospital with serious injuries.
According to Georgia State Patrol, Catherine Poppell, 18, was leaving a home after an altercation with her boyfriend when she struck a parked vehicle across the street. Poppell drove through a group of people standing near a burn pit in the area of the parked vehicle, and three teenagers were run over.
One mother whose children were involved in the crash said the teenagers are traumatized by the experience.
“It has affected these babies tremendously. All of them, they woke up different this morning,” said Alexandra Smith.
Smith had three children involved in the crash that happened in her yard. She says something like this was completely unexpected in her quiet neighborhood.
“My daughter came running inside screaming ‘She hit us!’ ‘She hit us!’ and I thought it was a fight so I come outside because teenagers are teenagers and I come outside thinking I’m gonna break up a fight and there’s children laying everywhere,” she said.
Smith says she’s thankful for the quick response by first responders and the group of young people who she says rallied together to take care of each other during this traumatic incident.
“The kids saved each other. It was amazing to see them come together even though they were hurt, they were still looking out for the ones that were hurt worse than them without any recollection of themselves and I believe that they are the heroes here,” she said.
Officials say one person was treated and released from the hospital Saturday morning. Another person was treated at the scene, but the extent of their injuries is unknown. A third person, a minor, was flown to the hospital with serious injuries to their back and leg.
Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) is handling the investigation. Sgt. David Laff of Georgia State Patrol says Poppell was arrested at the scene and has been charged with Failure to Maintain Lane, DUI Less Safe and Serious Injury by Vehicle. Popell’s DUI Less Safe charge could be upgraded based on the results of a blood-alcohol test.
This is a developing story. WTOC will provide updates as they become available.