MOULTRIE -- A 1-year-old girl has been transported to Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta following a two-car collision Thursday night at the intersection of Gene McQueen Road and Pavo Road.

Jameria Ester was riding in her father's lap in the front seat of a 2002 Dodge Neon driven by her mother, Melissa Ester, 33, of Pavo, when it hit a pickup that had run a stop sign, said Trooper 1st Class Tracy Tabb of the Thomasville Georgia State Patrol post. The accident happened about 6 p.m.

Tom Barfield, 61, of Moultrie, was traveling south on Gene McQueen Road when he allegedly ran the stop sign at Pavo Road, despite crossing several rumble strips. Barfield, Ester, and her husband, John Ester, 46, were all listed in stable condition Friday afternoon at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Three other Ester children, ages 13, 12 and 9, were also riding in the Neon. None of them were admitted to the hospital. Tabb said no one in the Ester vehicle wore seat belts.

During the accident, the truck's bed was knocked completely off the frame, witnesses said.

Barfield was cited with failure to yield for a stop sign.

Tabb said the accident illustrated the importance of seat belts and child-restraint seats.

"That was the worst place (the 1-year-old) could've been," Tabb said. "She had the force of the impact, the force of the airbag and the weight of her father on her."

Residents who live near the intersection said several serious accidents happen there each year, mostly from motorists running the stop sign on Gene McQueen Road. There is not a stop sign on Pavo Road at the intersection.

"I don't understand why there's so many accidents there," said Newell Lastinger, who lives nearby. "There are rumble strips coming from both ways (on Gene McQueen Road)." Lastinger said he can hear the strips from his home, which is two houses down from the intersection.

"Every year, there are at least three or four accidents out there," he said.



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