Friends helping stranded ambulance driver are killed as truck runs over Prius on I-16

Two Macon friends were killed in a crash Tuesday evening after helping another friend who was stranded while driving an ambulance east on Interstate 16 in Bleckley County.

Shemar Brooks, 22, of Mohawk Road, and Zhaniesha Burnette, 21, of Manchester at Wesleyan, died at the scene, said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones, who notified their Macon families.

“They were traveling in a Toyota Prius. He was driving and she was a front seat passenger,” Jones said.

Georgia State Patrol Cpl. Chad Harrison, of the Dublin post, said Brooks and Burnette had pulled off I-16 near mile marker 34 to deliver diesel fuel to another friend in the ambulance, which was also off to the side of the road.

Once they poured fuel into the tank, they got back in their vehicles and headed back on the highway.

“They were struck from behind by a tractor trailer,” Harrison said.

The Prius hit the back of the ambulance and wound up under the truck, which burned after the impact, he said.

No information was immediately available about other injuries, which were not expected to be life-threatening.

The Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team of the Georgia State Patrol is investigating the crash.

Liz Jarvis Fabian has reported public safety issues in Middle Georgia for over 36 years. The former storm chaser and news anchor for The Weather Channel has won numerous awards including McClatchy President’s Awards for breaking news team coverage. Fabian was named Georgia AP’s best beat reporter in 2017.