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Man killed after loose trailer goes airborne on I-20 in Newton County

COVINGTON, Ga. — A South Carolina man died Saturday, July 4, after a trailer broke free from a vehicle on I-20 and crossed to the other side of the interstate before striking the victim's vehicle head-on in Newton County.

Gillis Wilson, age 52, of Sumter, South Carolina, died in the 9:29 a.m. incident near Ga. Hwy. 142 in Covington, said Newton County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Caitlin Jett.

Jett said a preliminary sheriff's office investigation showed William Evans, age 71, of Rutledge was driving a 2018 Ford F-350 pickup truck towing a 16-foot trailer and traveling westbound on I-20. 

As Evans' truck crossed double bridges at Mile Marker 94 in Covington, the 16-foot trailer "started to swerve back and forth, eventually breaking free from the 2018 Ford F-350," Jett said.

The trailer traveled southwest, crossed the grass median and went airborne before striking Wilson's 2012 Volvo Tractor head-on as it traveled in I-20's eastbound lane.

Wilson was transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead, Jett said.

No charges were placed against Evans. No other information was immediately available from the ongoing investigation, Jett said.