UPDATE: 4 Dead in Fatal I-75 Car Crash, Victim's Identified

By: Jacqueline Ingles Email
By: Jacqueline Ingles Email

UPDATE: 7/3

The four people killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 75 early Thursday
morning have been identified and we may have a clue as to why the wreck happened in the first place.

Georgia State Police say it appears that road rage could have contributed to that crash that killed a Midland Kentucky mother, her two daughters and her boyfriend Thursday morning.

A prescription pill bottle found at the scene of a fiery crash on Interstate 75 helped identify Cheryl Collins, 41, her daughters, Auguste Roberts, 11, and MaRhonda Collins, 20, along with the mother's boyfriend Jerome Roberts, 40.

All three of the female victims bodies were burned beyond recognition.

It happened when the gold SUV they were riding in burst into flames after colliding with another car and being hit by a Penske rental truck traveling behind their car that could not brake in time.

Georgia State Police say it appears that road rage on the part of Jerome Roberts could have contributed to the crash.

Family members of the victims told our affiliate in Lexington, Kentucky, the family was headed to Florida to help fulfill their eldest daughters' dream of auditioning for American Idol.

Funeral arrangement are still pending and family members are currently in Georgia claiming the bodies.
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Georgia State Patrol tells WCTV the following details:

-The three vehicle crash happened early Thursday morning in the southbound lanes of I-75.

-Douglas Jones was driving his 2009 Honda Accord and called police to alert them of road rage exhibited by Jerome Roberts who was driving a gold 2003 Saturn Vue.

-Joshua Burget was driving a Penske Truck and struck Jones' Accord and Roberts' Vue.

-Georgia State Patrol was notified at 2:18a.m., and arrived on scene about 15-20 minutes later.

-The Interstate was blocked, the passengers of Roberts' Saturn Vue were trapped. The Saturn Vue and Penske truck caught fire

-Witnesses pulled Roberts',the driver of the Saturn Vue from the car, but he died on scene from crash-related injuries

-Passengers of the Saturn Vue could not be pulled from the car, all 3 died from the fire.

- Jerome Roberts was deemed at-fault in the crash

-Douglas Jones, the driver of the Accord complained of minor injuries on scene, no other injuries reported.

IDs:
Vehicle #1 (gold 2003 Saturn Vue)
-Driver - Jerome Roberts 40/M/Midway, KY
-Passengers:
- Cheryl Collins 41/F/Midway, KY
- MaRhonda Collins (Cheryl's daughter) 20/F/Midway, KY
- August Roberts (Cheryl's daughter) 11/F/Midway, KY

Vehicle #2 (2009 Honda Accord)
-Driver - Douglas Jones 50/M/Atlanta, GA
-Passenger - Quinton Jones 16/M/Atlanta, GA (Douglas' son)

Vehicle #3 (Penske non-semi truck)
-Driver - Joshua Burget 23/M/Auburndale, FL
-Passenger - Greg Chambless 21/M

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Updated 10:11 a.m. (7/2)

Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson tells WCTV he thinks they've tentatively identified one of the four victims involved in an early morning car wreck on I-75 in Valdosta.

While the coroner will not release an the woman's name, he says a prescription bottle recovered at the scene helped tentatively identify the female victim who was seated in the front passenger seat of a gold four door car that was rear ended by a Penske rental truck.

Watson says the prescription was filled at an out-of-state pharmacy.

The wreck happened around 2:40 a.m. on I-75 between exit 16 and exit 18. Four people were killed.

Watson says a witness was able to pull the driver of the gold vehicle out of the wreckage, but when she went back to pull out the female passenger, she noticed fire coming from the under the car.

Within moments, Watson says the car burst into flames.

Authorities say three of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

The driver pulled from the vehicle also died.

At this time, the coroner says he examined one of the victims and believes it to be a child or small adult.

The bodies of all four people were sent to the state crime lab in Atlanta for autopsies and further identification.

Updated 8:33 a.m. (7/2)

Lowndes County Sheriff, Chris Prine, says authorities believe one of the victims who was killed in the crash is a small child.

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The accident happened around 2:40 this morning in the southbound lanes of I-75 in Valdosta between exit 16 and exit 18.

Authorities confirm that four people are dead and at least one of the victims is male.

Officials with the Georgia Highway Patrol tell WCTV two vehicles were traveling southbound on I-75 when they collided. When those vehicles slowed down, a Penske moving truck traveling behind them was unable to stop and hit both cars, propelling one of the cars, a four door gold car forward.

The truck and gold car burst into flames.

According to a witness on the scene, a passerby tried to extricate the driver of the gold car they identified as male. However, that individual was already dead.

The Lowndes County coroner and officers on the scene say they could not identify any of the individuals involved because their bodies were burned beyond recognition.

The two individuals in the Penske moving truck, along with the two individuals in the other black 4 door car were taken to the hospital. Authorities say these individuals only suffered minor injuries and are expected to make a full recovery.

As of 5:45 a.m. authorities had reopened the left shoulder of the southbound lanes and were allowing semi-trucks and other motorists to pass through.

Motorists had been at a standstill for almost three hours.

We are continuing to follow this story and will have more details as they become available.


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