Floyd County Police: How the collision on U.S. 411 was triggered and who was injured.

Floyd County Police: How the collision on U.S. 411 was triggered and who was injured.


From Floyd County Police: The crash reported at 7:44 p.m. Sunday on U.S. 411 at its intersection with Nichols Road.

An Infiniti G37 driven by Norma Vaughan, 75, of Rydal was traveling eastbound on 411  when she slowed to attempt to turn onto Nichols Road. At the last moment, the driver changed her mind and attempted to return to the flow of highway traffic. The driver of the Infiniti failed to check the lane of travel and struck a BMW X3 which now occupied the travel lane. The BMW was occupied by Catherine Gonzalez, 45, of Atlanta. The impact pushed them into the inside lane of travel and into the path of a Toyota Corolla, occupied by Rigoberto Lopez,47, of Rome, and his 13-year-old daughter Omelia Lopez.

After all vehicles came to rest, a Chevrolet Cruze exited from Nichols and was attempting to navigate through debris and wrecked vehicles that were stopped on the highway. It was at this time an eastbound Toyota Camry failed to recognize the slower moving car and side swiped the Cruze, which was occupied by Sharon Kennedy, 49, of Lithonia.. The Camry was occupied by driver Mellisa Howell, 50, of Cartersville, passenger Donald Howell, 59, and their two children, ages 17 and 15.

A third crash occurred when a westbound vehicle was looking at the crash scene rather than traffic. The 2013 Nissan Altima driven by Julie Hamilton, 55, of Silver Creek slowed down for the crash scene and was struck in the rear by a 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier, occupied by Channin Edwards, 21, of Tennessee. The Cavalier had two passengers: Regan Haynes, 15 and Christopher Walker, 13, of Tennessee.

No serious injuries were reported but nine were taken by EMS. Vaughan was transported to Cartersville Medical Center. Lopez went to Floyd with his daughter who had complaint of injury.

Please check back for updates on charges.

In context:

The first reports on a bizarre, three-accident shutdown of U.S. 411 east came in shortly after 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Drivers and passengers in westbound 411 were describing a “terrible” accident scene with people outside of damaged vehicles sitting along the banks of the highway. They also saw a fleet of ambulances en route from Rome — and for good reason. As many as nine people would be transported to area hospitals, seven of whom were reported to be in stable condition at Floyd Medical Center late Sunday.

The sheer volume of first responders on the scene sounded much like another nearby incident on 411 at the Bypass in May 2018 when a Cedartown woman who had led law enforcement officers on a chase from Cave Spring finally stopped near that intersection and was killed as she prepared to fire on officers.

Monday morning, we’re awaiting preliminary reports from the Georgia State Patrol on what happened Sunday evening. The highway was clear and flowing normally at last check.

Floyd County Police Sgt. Chris Fincher says the initial report shows one accident caused considerable debris along the two eastbound lanes, enough to trigger two additional accidents.

The Floyd County Police Department is investigating the accidents. The Georgia State Patrol says it did assist and handle one of the accidents. That report: “GSP responded to assist and only worked one of the crashes and it was minor rear-end crash.  No one was transported and there was only one complaint of possible injury. ”


From Floyd Medical Center: 

Seven people have been transported to Floyd. All appear to be in stable condition, spokesman Dan Bevels said.

From Floyd County Police Sgt. Chris Fincher:

Preliminary reports show several vehicles were involved in an accident on U.S. 411 east toward Cartersville. The debris from the original collisions caused additional accidents, three in all. At least nine people have been transported by EMS to area hospitals but none were reported to have critical injuries. Again, all is preliminary.

Initial report: Avoid U.S. 411 eastbound from road until further notice as a major accident has been reported on the highway toward Cartersville near the nitersection of Nichols Road (which connects to Chulio). A frequent Hometown Headlines contributor reports numerous first responders on the scene and ambulances streaming to the accident site. Four or five people were sitting outside their vehicles at the scene on the bank of the road.

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