A 21-year-old man was killed Tuesday night when he collided with a tractor-trailer fuel-hauling rig at the intersection of Perry Road and Highway 133 South about two miles east of Berlin.
Matthew Charles Garver was driving north on Perry Road when he failed to stop at the stop sign, Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Tommy Peeples said Wednesday afternoon. Garver had a Sylvester address, he said.
Shortly after the deadly crash, a second tractor-trailer rig hauling bottled water wrecked while detouring around the first accident scene.
The weight in that trailer shifted, causing it to go into the ditch and break in two, Colquitt County Sheriff’s Lt. Randy Stephens said. Workers pushed this rig into the ditch so traffic could pass during the night.
Wesley Chapel Road was closed again Wednesday morning and the last of the debris was removed at about 5 p.m.
Both lanes of Highway 133 at Perry Road were cleared at about 3:41 a.m., Georgia Department of Transportation spokeswoman Juanita Birmingham said. The semi involved in the fatal collision was hauling a fuel trailer, and it had to be unloaded before it could be moved and the road cleared.
At Wesley Chapel Road, before workers could remove the truck and trailer pieces, they had to remove the load of 40,000 pounds of bottled water in pallets, officials said.
In addition to the fatality, there were other accidents around the county, Stephens said.
“There were several during the day, mostly on bridges,” he said. “The (Department of Transportation) and county were out putting sand and salt, whatever they could get on them.”
At about mid-afternoon Wednesday Colquitt County Roads and Bridges Department Superintendent Charles Weathers said that roads were free of water. All of the bridges thought to be dangerous also were coated with sand.
With precipitation stopping Wednesday morning the roads were in good condition, Weathers said. Winds helped to further dry bridges over the course of the day.
“We had a few bridges sanded,” Weathers said. “Other than that it’s all right. We don’t have any major problems.”
The department will have workers on call if needed throughout the night, and motorists who spot potentially dangerous road conditions can report them to Colquitt County 911.
One thing that helped was that motorists seemed to take seriously the advice to stay off roadways if possible, sheriff’s Capt. Julius Cox said.
“Luckily the traffic is very, very low because of the weather,” he said. “That’s what people need to do until this thing blows over.”