Tragedies strike on I-20 leaving three people dead

CSRA News

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Heavy hearts all over Georgia on Tuesday as two sheriff’s deputies and a Grovetown woman died following two different wrecks on Interstate 20.

“This right here, I’m still shaky from seeing this. My heart goes out to these families,” said Scott Lewing, a witness.

The first accident happened around 11:00 a.m. on I-20 eastbound near Exit 190.

Major Sharif Chochol with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said, “We got here to learn that it was involving a Fulton County sheriff’s car. Unfortunately, there’s two deputies that were killed in the accident.”

“When I seen the officer, it looked like he tried to veer to miss the 18-wheeler. And when he did, that’s why the officer got most of the impact on the back of that trailer,” recalled Lewing.

The accident claimed the lives of Fulton County deputies Anthony White, a seven-year veteran, and Kenny Ingram. Ingram’s 15-year anniversary mark of service would have been next month.

“Hits close to home when it’s obviously other officers involved in an accident like this but it’s tragic anytime somebody loses their life during a traffic fatality,” said Major Chochol.

Lewing added, “They were just like everybody else, you know, on their way to work. And then this tragedy happened to them.”

The second wreck happened shortly before 1:00 p.m. near mile marker 181 in Columbia County close to the McDuffie line. The Georgia Department of Public Safety said a driver of an 18-wheeler was going eastbound then hit the back of a Toyota RAV4.

The tractor-trailer continued to go down the right shoulder of I-20 and hit seven more cars. Fifty-four-year-old Brenda Anderson, the driver of the RAV4 was killed.

Royce Smith

26-year-old Royce Smith was arrested at the scene and was later charged with following too closely, too fast for conditions, and homicide by vehicle in the second degree.

A dog was also taken away at the scene by animal services.

Both car accidents that happened on I-20 eastbound are still under investigation.

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