Man Dies in Accident
By AMY LOTT
Published 2/5/08 in
An accident in north Coweta County involving a car and a tractor-trailer truck early Monday morning in the southbound lanes of Interstate 85 south of McCollum-Sharpsburg Road resulted in the ejection and death of an Alabama man, authorities said.
Fred Frank Bell II, 27, of Montgomery, Ala., was driving southbound in a Dodge Stratus around 1 a.m. when the incident occurred at about the 50 mile marker, said Corp. Donnie Slaton of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office Eastside Precinct.
Slaton said it appeared Bell's vehicle left the roadway, struck a guardrail on the inside median and ricocheted into a travel lane.
A southbound tractor-trailer then struck Bell's vehicle and sent him hurtling back into the guardrail a second time. Bell — who did not appear to be wearing a seat belt — was ejected from the car and pronounced dead on the scene, Slaton said.
The tractor-trailer also lost control as a result of impact, coming to rest on its side in the road. The load of frozen chicken being hauled in the vehicle was strewn about the scene. Slaton said the state Dept. of Agriculture responded to the incident so that the perishable food could be condemned and arrangements made for its proper disposal.
The driver of the tractor-trailer — whose name was not available Monday evening — was taken by ground ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center and later released, Slaton said.
Southbound lanes of I-85 had to be partially shut down more than six hours, Slaton said, while crews cleaned up and cleared out the wreckage, fuel spills and chicken. The scene was not totally cleared until about 1:25 p.m. Monday afternoon, according to a Department of Transportation alert.
Slaton said there was no evidence of alcohol in Bell's vehicle and no determination had been made regarding excessive speed. Slaton said that although the accident took place in a DOT construction zone where widening of I-85 is in progress, no related barriers or equipment were to blame.