Highway 37 wreck injures 15



By Observer Staff



MOULTRIE -- A van filled with migrant workers crashed Friday night on Highway 37 and sent 15 people to area hospitals.

The Georgia State Patrol said Marco Castaneda of Moultrie told the investigating trooper he was driving the van on Highway 37 when he saw a car coming toward him in his lane. He swerved onto the shoulder to avoid it and lost control.

The accident happened less than a mile west of D.H. Alderman Road at 10:51 p.m., the GSP said.

The GSP trooper who is investigating the wreck said Castaneda could speak English, but none of the van's passengers could. The language barrier prevented him from identifying everyone in the van Friday night. He expected to speak to Castaneda Saturday night to finish getting their names.

The van held 17 occupants, according to Kerry Faunce, public relations director at Colquitt Regional Medical Center and a member of the hospital's disaster team. Seven of those were taken to CRMC, where they were treated and released.

Eight were taken to Memorial Hospital in Adel, Faunce said. A spokesman for Memorial Hospital said he had come on shift Saturday morning and had heard about the wreck victims being treated there the night before, but without their names he couldn't check their conditions or determine whether they had already been released.

Faunce said he did not know what happened to the other two passengers of the van -- whether they were uninjured, declined treatment or were taken somewhere in a personal vehicle.

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