SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — A truck that tried to avoid traffic that was braking on the interstate caused several crashes on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
A tractor-trailer heading west on I-20 near the Monroe/Monticello exit topped a hill, and the driver noticed traffic was slowing down rapidly.
It happened just before 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, the day before Thanksgiving.
In an attempt to avoid another tractor-trailer head, the truck swerved and hit a black Chevrolet Tahoe in the left lane.
The tractor-trailer then swerved again and hit a black Jeep in the left lane, then struck a black Chrysler Pacifica owned by a Covington funeral home which was transporting a body.
The funeral home vehicle was stopped when the truck hit it and pushed off the north shoulder of I-20. The truck then swerved left and hit a tan Chevrolet Tahoe in the left lane, pushing it into the median, then hit a gray Toyota Camry, pushing it through the median and a cable barrier into the eastbound lanes of the interstate.
There, the Toyota hit a gray Honda Odyssey van.
The collision with the Toyota caused the tractor-trailer to reach the median, turn to his right side and losing its load in the median.
Cpl. Cal Barton of the Georgia State Patrol said 15 minor injuries were reported. Two people were transported for treatment.
The driver of the Toyota was flown to WellStar Atlanta Medical Center, and an ambulance took the Honda driver to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center.
The deceased person in the funeral home vehicle was released to the Newton County coroner’s office.
Barton said charges were pending in the case, but impairment from alcohol or drugs was not suspected to be a factor.
The interstate didn’t reopen fully until about 2:30 p.m. Traffic was detoured onto U.S. 278 and Georgia Hw.y 11.