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Georgia State Patrol expects charges in fatal hit-and-run I-16 accident

Truck driver dies in I-16 crash

A tractor trailer driver, believed to be from Florida, died in a crash with another truck and car on Interstate 16 West in Twiggs County before 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.
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A tractor trailer driver, believed to be from Florida, died in a crash with another truck and car on Interstate 16 West in Twiggs County before 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.

A trucking company supervisor alerted the Georgia State Patrol that one of his drivers was the man sought in a fatal crash Thursday on Interstate 16.

“He had seen a news spot on the internet,” Sgt. Lee Weaver, of the Dublin State Patrol post, said the day after the wreck halted highway traffic for eight hours. “We have an investigative hold on the tractor-trailer his driver was driving.”

Troopers have set up an interview with 70-year-old James Bryant, of Commerce, after they confirmed he was the driver who left the crash scene where Archie March, 57, of Homestead, Florida, was killed.

“He actually stopped and waited for a short time,” Weaver said. “He said he only had minor damage and left with his load.”

The state patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is trying to determine what caused the crash just after 5:20 a.m. near mile marker 14 in Twiggs County.

March’s cab was separated from his truck, which ended up in a ditch off the right shoulder.

His passenger in the sleeping compartment was not believed to be seriously hurt.

A Twiggs County woman also escaped major injuries as her Ford Explorer flipped up the highway and came to rest upside down in the middle of the road.

Bryant’s truck stopped in the emergency lane before he continued on his way.

The SCRT team spent hours at the scene to try to figure out how the crash happened.

“We geomapped the scene while we had the lanes shut down to prevent us from having to come back,” Weaver said.

Bryant, of Trans South Logistics, had made it to Braselton in north Georgia before troopers knew his whereabouts late Thursday afternoon.

“Everybody’s cooperating with the investigation. Charges are pending,” Weaver said.

Even if Bryant did not cause the wreck, he could still be charged with leaving the scene, he said.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303, @liz_lines

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