A Jasper woman was killed after she drove head-on into a tractor trailer while going the wrong way on Interstate 575 in Cherokee County Saturday morning. The woman has become one of hundreds of people killed each year in wrong-way collisions and national safety investigators are trying to find a way to lessen the numbers.
The incident happened on I-575 between Ball Ground and Canton, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Investigators said Kristen Adams, of Jasper, was traveling south in a silver Toyota Corolla in the northbound lanes of the interstate when she struck the tractor trailer head-on. Adams died at the scene of the wreck, which happened around 2:30 a.m., according to media reports.
The deadly wreck is still under investigation and GSP said a drug/alcohol test is pending. This wrong-way collision occurred almost a week after another woman was killed in similar wreck in Bibb County. In that wreck, which happened last Sunday, 32-year-old Abatha Jolley, of Macon, was driving a white Volvo sports utility vehicle north in the southbound lanes of I-475 when she struck a tractor-trailer head-on. That wreck is still under investigation.
Researchers said on average of 360 people are killed each year in wrong-way collisions, according to an AP 2012 report. And the National Transportation Safety Board is considering recommendations on countermeasures to prevent such accidents. One of which will include all states requiring convicted first-time drunken-driving offenders use ignition interlock devices that test their breath for alcohol concentration in order to drive, the AP reported. The devices, which would be mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard, will prevent the engine from starting if the driver’s alcohol concentration is too high. Seventeen states already have that requirement in place, the news media reported.
The board’s study, which analyzed data from 1,566 crashes from 2004 to 2009, as well as nine wrong-way collisions that were investigated by NTSB, showed that in 59 percent of the crashes, wrong-way drivers had blood alcohol levels that were more than twice the legal limit, researchers said. In another 10 percent of the crashes, drivers had alcohol levels between .08 and .14. And in most of those instances, the limit was .08, the media reported.
In Saturday’s wreck, the Georgia State Patrol is still trying to determine why the woman was driving the wrong way on the interstate on and a drug/alcohol test is pending, they said. There were no other reports if injuries in the crash.