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2 children hospitalized after crash
Power out for hours when car topples pole off Gum Creek Road
Editor’s Note

This story has been updated with comments from the mother of the children.

OXFORD, Ga. — Two infants were hurt when the car they were riding in ran off the road, hit a power pole and flipped Sunday.

The children’s names were not immediately available. The state Department of Public Safety said they were transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

It happened at 2:28 p.m. Sunday on Gum Creek Road at Dial Mill Road in northern Newton County. The children were riding in a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu driven by 27-year-old Justin Lee Yandle, of Oxford.

Troopers said Yandle was driving too fast for conditions. He was going south on Gum Creek Road into a curve to the left when the Chevy began to lose traction between its tires and the roadway.

A woman who identified herself as the passengers’ mother told The Covington News on Tuesday morning the children — ages 2 years old and 5 months old — were examined at the hospital Sunday, found to be well and released.

“I really don’t want to discuss the issue at the very moment,” April Lewis, of Covington, said. “I’m just really upset at the whole Facebook post. I’m just saying the kids were not hospitalized. They were not hurt. My babies are perfectly fine and alive.”

Yandle reportedly left his lane and crossed over the center line and continued off the left side of the road for about 149 feet. After exiting the roadway, the car continued for about 76 more feet before it struck a utility pole with its front bumper.

After the car hit and broke the pole, the car rotated counterclockwise and continued its path of travel for about 260 feet while overturning toward the end. The car then came to an uncontrolled rest facing southeast, rolled over onto its driver’s side, while off the roadway on the east side of Gum Creek Road.

Yandle told troopers that as he was driving, another vehicle entered into his lane of travel and caused him to make an evasive maneuver to the right. He said he overcorrected his steering to the left and lost control of his vehicle, and said it felt as if one of his front tires went out while he tried to regain control of the car.

A witness told troopers that as he was traveling north on Gum Creek Road, he saw the Chevrolet traveling south on the wrong side of the road. The witness then said he saw the Chevrolet get into its correct lane, and as it passed him, the car sounded like it was being accelerated while traveling at a high rate of speed.

The witness went on to say that as the Chevrolet went into the curve, he heard the car’s tires skidding on the roadway before the witness heard the crash.

An investigation is ongoing. 

Lewis said the children were restrained properly, and said hospital employees reinforced training on proper use of child restraints Sunday.

“I will never let my kids (ride) without a seatbelt or a child seat, and neither will their father,” she said.

“Everybody is fine.”

The collision with the power pole caused a loss of electric power for about 100 Covington utility customers, city spokesman Trey Sanders said. Electric service was out for more than five hours, one neighbor said.