AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – 18-year-old Daija Lashawn Williams was taken into custody by Columbia County Sheriff’s Office yesterday in relation to the Tudor Branch gas regulator station crash. The accident resulted in a shutdown of Columbia Road and the evacuation of several residents of the Tudor Branch subdivision near the crash site.
Williams is charged with 1) Open Container of Alcohol in Passenger Area of Vehicle; 2) Misdemeanor Willful Obstruction of Law Enforcement Officers; 3) Failure to Maintain Lane; 4) Duty Upon Striking Fixture; and 5) Driver to Exercise Due Care, Proper Use of Radio or Mobile.
According to Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, emergency dispatch received a call around 6 a.m. Wednesday morning for a domestic dispute near Columbia Road and Tudor Branch.
During a pursuit, Williams’ vehicle hit the gas regulator station at Tudor Branch and Columbia Road, which housed four separate gas lines, according to a spokesperson for Columbia County Fire Rescue.
The ruptured gas lines and threat caused by gas leakage required shutting down close to four miles of Columbia Road between Hereford Farm Road and S. Belair Road for several hours before reopening around 10 a.m.
Atlanta Gas Light, which owns and operates the gas lines damaged by yesterday’s crash, told WJBF that the subject vehicle had to be removed by tow crews from on top of the regulator station, all of which slowed Atlanta Gas Light repair team from fixing the busted gas regulator and damaged gas lines.
Gas was shut off in the area and the main entrance to Tudor Branch remained closed into the afternoon as Atlanta Gas Light repaired the lines.
Staff Sergeant Jimmy Edmunds with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office told WJBF Wednesday that among the charges the driver was facing were a failure to report her car crash with the gas regulator station and violation of the state’s hands-free law.
According to Staff Sgt. Edmunds, Williams is accused of texting and driving at the same time during the pursuit with law enforcement vehicles, which resulted in her leaving the road and crashing into the gas lines.
Williams is being held at Columbia County Detention Center with a total bond amount of $5,500.