Cars, bus collide on Highway 85

By Ed Brock

A C-TRAN bus was back in service Tuesday shortly after being involved in an accident with four other vehicles.

Around 12:09 p.m. a commercial van driven by 28-year-old Clarence Lannie of Riverdale turned right from Gardenwalk Boulevard onto southbound Ga. Highway 85 and collided with a modified pickup truck owned by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner said.

"Once (Lannie) hit him the impact caused the state truck to go into the northbound lanes," Turner said.

The DOA truck ran into two cars stopped in the turn lane for vehicles turning left from Highway 85 onto Gardenwalk, and one of those cars was forced into the C-TRAN bus driven by 53-year-old Larry Singleton of Morrow.

None of the 11 passengers on the bus were injured and at least some transferred to another C-TRAN bus. Mattie Hatten, 50 and Charlotte Fitzpatrick, 53, both of Riverdale, who were driving the cars hit by the DOA truck, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center for treatment. A passenger in Fitzpatrick's car, Lillian Morgan, was also taken to SRMC with complaints of injuries but Turner did not have her age or place of residence.

Gerald Richard, 65, who was the driver of the DOA vehicle, was also transported to SRMC with complaints of minor injuries. Richard has been with the DOA for about 12 years in the Fuels and Measures Division, Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin said, and had a good driving record.

The vehicle Richard was driving is used to take high-speed samples from gas stations with multiple pumps, Irvin said. Richard was on the job when the accident occurred.

Irvin said he was unsure about Richard's condition but DOA employees had spoken to Richard after the accident.

"We hope everybody will come out of this in the best condition possible given the circumstances," Irvin said.

Lannie has been charged with a red light violation in connection with the accident, Turner said.

In early December another C-TRAN bus was involved in an accident in which the driver, 35-year-old Daniel Jackson of Lithonia, suffered serious injuries along with at least three passengers.

In that incident 35-year-old Dieon Agard of Riverdale was driving a dump truck at a high rate of speed on Flint River Road/ Pointe South Parkway when he swerved into the oncoming lanes in a construction site to avoid a car that was stopped to make a right-hand turn, Turner said previously. He collided head-on with Jackson's bus.

Agard was charged with driving too fast for conditions and failure to maintain his lane in connection with the accident.

Other than these accidents, C-TRAN buses have been accident-free, C-TRAN Director Richard Bray said, at least as far as he knows.

"These are the only two that I've been called about," Bray said.