Jonesboro woman has birthday accident

By Ed Brock

Maria Morales turned 23 on Wednesday, but she spent much of the day in the hospital following a serious traffic accident.

Around 1:18 p.m. Morales was going west on College Street in Jonesboro and approached the intersection with Fayetteville Road, traveling behind another vehicle, said Jonesboro Police Officer Charles Kimbell.

"According to witnesses she followed the other vehicle out into the intersection," Kimbell said.

At that time a 2000 GMC Sierra driven by 60-year-old Evelyn Hayes of Stockbridge, traveling north on Fayetteville Road, collided with Morales' 2004 Dodge pickup truck, knocking it over onto its side.

Morales was taken from the scene by air ambulance to Atlanta Medical Center. Later in the afternoon her husband Juan Romero was in the waiting room of the hospital's intensive care unit, waiting to hear more from the doctor on his wife's condition.

However, Romero said Morales has some cuts and injuries to her head, but she will be all right.

"She's getting well in here," Romero said.

Romero said the truck, while it was new, was not a birthday present. Morales had owned the truck for a couple of months and was on her way to work when the accident occurred, he added. Romero still hadn't bought Morales, his wife of nearly four years and mother of their two children, a present for her birthday. But he planned to visit the hospital's gift shop.

"I've been working," Romero said.

Hayes had complaints of some pain from the seatbelt of her vehicle but she was not taken to a hospital, Kimbell said.