Victim of fatal I-516 crash identified

Fatal crash on I-516 under investigation by GSP.

GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - A fatal crash closed several lanes of I-516 westbound, near the Bay Street exit in Garden City, Monday morning.

According to the Garden City Police Department, two cars were involved in wreck on I-516. A driver of a Hyundai pulled a U-turn on I-516 and was driving the wrong direction in the northbound lanes. The driver collided head-on with a minivan, killing the passenger in that vehicle. The driver was transported to Memorial Health with serious injuries.

Driver of the Hyundai then got out of his car and attempted to run. He jumped off the overpass on I-516 to the train tracks below (roughly 30 feet) and potentially broke his legs. He, too, was transported with injuries. Charges are pending against him.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety says the accident occurred around 10:45 a.m. They say a 2011 Lexus was heading in the westbound direction in the left lane, and a a Dodge Caravan was in the middle lane. Meanwhile, a Hyundai Sonata was traveling eastbound in the middle westbound lane, when it was struck by the Dodge in the left front. This sent the Hyundai across the right westbound exit lane, before striking the cement barrier on the north shoulder. The vehicle then traveled across all westbound lanes, striking a barrier, and traveled north across the left westbound lane. It then struck the Lexus from behind.

Both I-516 WB lanes, one EB lane of I-516, and both WB lanes of Highway 21 were closed for several hours. All lanes have since reopened.

"We were contacted by Garden City. They wished for us to take over the investigation of this crash. We do have one confirmed fatality at this time. What we'll be looking into is exactly what happened, what caused the crash, and if there's any possibility of anybody being under the influence," said Sgt. First Class Chris Nease, Georgia State Patrol. "We had witnesses state to us that he walked over to the edge of the bridge, he looked down twice, and then jumped. It was not a fall, it was a jump."

The Dodge passenger who was killed has been identified as 77-year-old Jerry Kaiser of Garden City. The driver of that vehicle, 69-year-old Brenda Nease of Garden City, was taken to Memorial, along with the driver of the Hyundai, 36-year-old Leroy Roberts of Savannah.

The occupants in the Lexus are 45-year-old Peter Okwu and 40-year-old Amethyst Okwu, of Savannah.

Charges are pending the completion of the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team investigation.

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