Accidents cause major delays orange crush weekend

Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 8:53 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2023 at 11:17 PM EDT
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Orange Crush weekend on Tybee has attracted thousands of people to the island- but many of them saw significant delays trying to get there this afternoon.

“Since I’ve been in this area, the only thing that this equates to that I’ve seen time and time again in my career, is evacuations from Florida when hurricanes are approaching.”

Between noon and 6 p.m., Kearns says that Chatham EMS responded to eight wrecks along the routes to get to Tybee including one that sent seven people to the hospital- and one caused by someone losing control of their car after doing donuts in the road.

The traffic trapping people for hours.

It was a frustrating situation for people that just wanted to get to Tybee and enjoy Orange Crush.

“It’s very frustrating. Everywhere we go, it’s still traffic. And we got rerouted three different times, and there’s still traffic,” Janasa Gibbons said.

While waiting in standstill traffic some folks, still trying to make the best of the situation.

“We’re listening to music, talking in the group chat. We have a group chat, we’re in a big group coming,” Chanel Alexander and Amyre Harris said.

“What’s the big topic in the group chat?

“The traffic.”

Some people, however, occupying themselves outside of the car.. or making risky moves trying to get out of the traffic.

Two factors that Kearns says, exacerbated the traffic situation.

“I’ve heard our ambulances and fire crews calling for police because in the traffic jams, people are driving on the wrong side of the road, they’re making abrupt U-turns. There have been a couple of radio calls for assistance for people in the traffic jam who are on the roofs of their cars dancing, who are out in the streets, dancing in the traffic. It’s really stressing our resources, and it’s also slowing everything down because we can’t get to the calls because of the traffic,” Kearns said.

Kearns added that emergency responders are worried about the gridlock spilling over with people trying to leave Tybee Island Saturday.

Saturday evening, continuing to be an all-hands-on-deck situation for Chatham EMS and police and fire services actually on Tybee.

Meanwhile, several restaurants on Tybee closed their doors in anticipation of the traffic, including Zunzibar and Sea Wolf.