U-R update

IRWINTON, Ga. — A mother and her 13-year-old daughter were killed Monday morning in a fiery crash with a tractor-trailer truck at the intersection of Ga. Route 112 and Ga. Route 29 in Wilkinson County, local and state authorities say.

Four other people, including the victim’s oldest daughter, also were injured and taken to The Medical Center Navicent Health in Macon. All four of them remained hospitalized Tuesday with various injuries.

Wilkinson County Coroner Billy Matthews identified the deceased victims as Ashley Bales Reed, 35; and Summer Grace Matherly, both of Dearing, Ga., a small community in McDuffie County, just west of Augusta.

Matthews said he pronounced Matherly dead at 9:45 a.m. and Reed dead at 10:12 a.m.

The coroner said Reed’s body would be taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Laboratory in Macon on Wednesday morning to undergo toxicology testing.

Reed, who worked as a court specialist with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision’s Augusta field office, was the driver of the Chevrolet Tahoe involved in the crash, authorities said.

According to a preliminary report from the Georgia State Patrol, Reed was traveling west on Ga. Route 112, while the driver of the tractor-trailer truck was traveling south on Ga. Route 29.

The investigating state trooper said Reed failed to yield the right-of-way at the median in the middle of Ga. Route 29 and crossed into the lane of travel of the tractor-trailer truck. The truck then struck the passenger’s side of the Tahoe with its front end.

“After impact, both vehicles caught fire in the west ditch of Ga. Route 29,” according to the state patrol.

Two of the four injured victims, both of whom were described in critical condition after the crash, were airlifted by medical helicopters from the scene to the hospital, Matthews told The Union-Recorder by telephone Tuesday. The other two victims were taken to the hospital by ambulances.

The truck driver, whose name has not yet been released by the Georgia State Patrol, was not injured.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the state patrol had not released any of the names of those injured in the collision. 

Wilkinson County Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Adams was traveling in the area at the time of the wreck and quickly assisted those inside the SUV, according to Matthews.

Adams wasn’t the only one offering help. The trucker, as well as a state corrections officer also helped to pull the victims from a rear window of the SUV, according to the coroner.

“He (Adams) was doing CPR on one the more critically injured victims when I got to the scene,” Matthews said.

The coroner said the three men did everything they could do to help the survivors at the scene of the wreck.

The fatal crash happened less than two miles from the Laurens County line or about 11 miles south of Irwinton, Matthews said.

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