A one-car accident sent emergency personnel from several jurisdictions to Interstate 16 in Bryan County on Sunday afternoon to help treat 10 victims of a car crash.
The crash occurred westbound near the 142 mile marker around 2:30 p.m. when a rear tire blew on a GMC Yukon, causing the driver to lose control, officials said.
“It flipped about four times, breaking the majority of the windows. All 10 occupants were ejected,” Bryan County Deputy Sheriff Carroll Clifton said.
None of the victims, two adults and eight children, ages approximately 5-18, were wearing seat belts, according to Clifton.
Preston Westmoreland of Brunswick said he was driving about 200 yards behind the vehicle when the accident occurred.
“The back right tire of the car blew out, and the whole back end went out to the side,” Westmoreland said. “It looked like they tried to correct, but the car ended up flipping. They were all thrown out of the vehicle.”
Westmoreland said he and others pulled over onto the median to try and help the people thrown from the red SUV. Westmoreland said he did his best to keep a young girl distracted from the bone protruding from her leg while awaiting the ambulance.
“I’ve seen accidents before where not many people pulled over, but so many people stopped for this one. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people who got out to help,” Westmoreland said.
Due to the seriousness of their injuries, two of the victims were taken from the scene by helicopter and the others by ambulance. All were taken to Memorial University Medical Center. No fatalities were reported.
Memorial is unable to confirm the condition of injured persons admitted to the hospital without prior identification or if the patient is under the age of 18. The names of the victims had not been released Sunday afternoon.
Both westbound Interstate 16 lanes were blocked for about 45 minutes to an hour in order to set up a landing zone for the two Life Flight helicopters. Clifton said.
Emergency personnel from Liberty County, Effingham County and Fort Stewart joined Bryan County in responding to the accident.
2 adults, 8 children ejected when SUV crashes in Bryan County