The driver of a car hit by a log truck Monday afternoon was found to be at fault in the crash.
Kiersten Close’s Toyota Corolla was hit by the truck as she started to turn toward a driveway on Highway 17 in Guyton around noon Monday. Both vehicles were southbound around the 1600 block of the highway, and the car turned left into the path of the truck driver as he attempted to pass the car from the northbound lane.
Based on statements from both drivers and evidence at the scene, investigators determined Close failed to yield as the truck driver, George Reed, 69, was making a legal pass.
“It was a justifiable pass,” said Trooper Joel Mock of the Georgia State Patrol. “She did not clear the path he was already going down.”
After hitting Close’s car, the truck flipped on its side and spilled its load of logs across both lanes of the highway. Reed was taken to Memorial Health University Medical Center with injuries Mock said were not life-threatening.
Close, 19, said Monday her neck was “a little sore” after her head hit the side of her car, but otherwise she was not injured.
Close told the Herald that she was driving north and missed the turn for the driveway. She turned onto the next street and pulled back onto Highway 17, driving south.
At the hospital, Reed told Mock that Close’s car was moving slowly as he approached it from behind. He said he changed lanes to pass the car, which then started to turn left in front of him.
Close will be ticketed for failure to yield, Mock said.
“The point of impact of both vehicles shows he was legal to pass,” Mock said. “If somebody is trying to pass (legally), you’ve got to clear the path.”
Close stated she used her turn signal. But, Mock said, she apparently did so “at the last second.”
“Even her words were that she signaled, but she’s not sure did it in enough time,” Mock said.