U-R update

A 63-year-old Milledgeville man was struck and killed after he walked into the path of an oncoming car on Vinson Highway last Thursday night.

The pedestrian fatally occurred shortly after 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Baldwin County Chief Deputy Coroner Ken Garland identified the victim as John Lee Simmons, of the 100 block of North Elbert Street.

Simmons, who was pronounced dead at the scene, died of blunt force trauma, Garland told The Union-Recorder in a telephone interview Monday.

The incident occurred on the 1700 block of Vinson Highway near Thompson Street, according to a report filed by Trooper Tyler Easter of the Georgia State Patrol post in Milledgeville.

Simmons was crossing Vinson Highway from the east side near Thompson Street when he was struck by a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS driven by Shurn Christopher Chatman, of Milledgeville, according to the accident report.

Chatman’s car was struck in the rear by a 2017 Nissan Versa SS Plus driven by Stacey Nichell Collins, also of Milledgeville, Easter said in his report.

Chatman and Collins were both traveling southbound on Vinson Highway at the time.

Easter said the pedestrian walked into the path of Simmons’ oncoming car.

After Simmons hit the victim, his car traveled southbound another 200 feet, the investigating trooper said in his report.

Collins, meanwhile, whom Easter said was following too closely, struck the rear of Chatman’s car.

Chatman told the trooper he was driving to work and saw the pedestrian walking south on the east side of Vinson Highway. The driver said he pulled over to give the pedestrian some leftover Thanksgiving food, but the pedestrian crossed the highway without looking up, and subsequently, he was struck by the oncoming car.

Easter said Collins told him she saw the driver of the car in front of her apply his brake lights and then let off his brakes, and that she never slowed down. Thus, it resulted in Collins hitting the rear of the Camaro with the front of her car.

There was no lighting in the area of the roadway where the accident happened, the trooper said.

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