Victims Identified In Deadly Sunday Night Crash On I-75

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Updated By: Winnie Wright
August 11, 2014

Valdosta, GA - 4 people, including a 3 year-old, are dead and 13 others were taken to the hospital with injuries after an accident on I-75 Sunday night.

Georgia State Patrol says it all started around 11 O'Clock Sunday night. That's when a tire burst on a vehicle heading south on I-75 near exit 22. They say, that car spun out and hit a retaining wall, leaving part of the car in the far left lane. Shortly afterwards, another car hit the first, causing traffic to back up as the passenger in the second car was life- flighted to Tallahassee.

"Traffic had stopped due to the first crash on the interstate, and for whatever reason, a tractor trailer Southbound struck the stopped vehicles in the road way. It made contact with a total of, I believe, seven other vehicles, which would be a total of eight vehicles in this crash", says Sergeant Carl Taylor, with the Georgia State Patrol.

Taylor says two of those vehicles received extensive damage, resulting in four fatalities.

Taylor also says that their investigation seems to indicate that the semi driver may be to blame. He says Witnesses told GSP that the driver may have been distracted.

The semi driver, 54 year-old Missouri Resident, Zemir Malkoc, was treated at SGMC. Taylor says, Malkoc could be facing multiple charges.

The victims are identified as 82 year-old Steven Anderson of Florida, Ronald Balzer, and his wife, Tamara Balzer, of Tennessee, and their three year-old grand daughter, Hayleigh Fowler, of Ocalla, Florida.

Georgia State Patrol says their investigation is ongoing. We will continue to update you as these details become available.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 11, 2014

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Four people are dead and three others are injured following an accident involving eight vehicles on I-75 near Valdosta Sunday night.

Georgia State Patrol spokesperson Cpl. Peter Lukas told WCTV that the eight vehicle pile-up happened around 10:50 p.m. near mile marker 21 in the southbound lanes of I-75.

According to GSP, three commercial semi-trucks, four passenger vehicles and a U-Haul truck were involved in the accident. The at-fault driver was the driver of a semi that rear-ended other vehicles in an outside lane.

Traffic was likely calming as the result of an accident that occurred one mile south on I-75 about 20 minutes prior. One person was airlifted as a result of that accident.

GSP said that the two scenes were not directly related and that teams were currently investigating the positions of the vehicles involved as well as other details about the pile-up.

No further details are available at this time. WCTV will update this story as more information becomes available.