GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Two law enforcement officers were killed today in a car-truck crash at the Grovetown exit from Interstate 20.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said the victims of the wreck at Lewiston Road were officers from Fulton County.
A witness driving in the other direction told News 12 that traffic was backed up for miles. At the accident scene, she described a mangled car covered by a sheet.
The 11:10 a.m. crash closed all lanes of eastbound I-20. Although traffic was moving again by 2 p.m. at that location, another fatal crash 10 miles to the west led to a traffic diversion at mile marker 175. That crash also happened on the eastbound side of I-20 and involved nine vehicles.
The Lewiston Road location was the site of a maintenance project scheduled for today, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation. The roadwork was expected to have a minor impact, closing the right lane. It was unclear whether the crash was related to the project.
The incident came on an already sad day for law enforcement officers, as the funeral service was held this morning in Augusta for Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Charles Norton. Norton died of complications from COVID-19, becoming the agency’s first line-of-duty coronavirus casualty.
Even before today’s wrecks, I-20 had been treacherous recently:
- The crash that killed the officers was about 16 miles east of where a tow truck driver was killed in a hit-and-run crash less than two weeks ago. On Sept. 17, Jason Willis was struck by a vehicle as he was loading up another vehicle on I-20 at Cobbham Road in McDuffie County. It happened as torrential rain soaked the region.
- On Monday night, a tractor-trailer caught fire near the Grovetown exit ramp on westbound Interstate 20, causing traffic problems.
- Hours earlier, all lanes of eastbound I-20 were closed in South Carolina a few miles north of North Augusta. A truck accident before 6 a.m. Monday led to the closure near Bettis Academy Road, and only one lane was open for most of the rest of the day.