One dies in Friday crash on Interstate 65

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 8, 2004

Greenville highways were hit with 19 total accidents, one of which resulting in a fatality, between Friday and Monday afternoon according to the State Trooper post in Evergreen.

The fatal accident occurred at the 126-mile marker around 1:15 p.m. on Friday.

Alonzo Bell, 51, of Pensacola was killed when he was ejected from a 1995 Plymouth Voyager minivan.

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According to a spokesman with the Trooper post in Evergreen, the van was traveling North on I-65 when the driver, Daisy Huff, lost control. The van then crossed the median and collided head on with a 2004 Nissan.

Huff and another passenger, Ann Simonet, were both ejected as well and transported to the hospital.

Huff and Simonet survived the accident despite previous reports.

Passengers of the other vehicle Celeste Williams, James Williams and Kendra Lilly, all of Hopkinsville, Ky. were also transported to the hospital.

The 19 total accidents resulted in 13 injuries.

Throughout the weekend Greenville and the surrounding highways continued to be riddled with accidents.

Dorris Teague, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety, said there were seven deaths overall during the Independence Day weekend.

&uot;From the reports I’ve gotten we have a total of seven deaths on rural highways,&uot; said Teague. &uot;That was the number we had from Friday at 6 p.m. until Monday at midnight.&uot;

Teague said the number could increase when all accidents are reported.

&uot;That number could increase as the reports get to us,&uot; said Teague. &uot;But that is what we have so far.&uot;

Accidents on Friday claimed the lives of five people. One person died in a two-car accident in Andalusia on Martin Luther King Drive. Police say a van carrying about a dozen people pulled out in front of traffic, swerved to miss a car, and hit a pickup truck.

The van flipped over, trapping one person. Andalusia police have not identified the victim. Several others were injured in the accident.

In Dothan, a 71-year-old woman died after she hit a utility pole Friday. The collision was so severe her car flipped and split in two. Ora Lee Pickett was thrown from the car. Officers say she wasn’t wearing a seat belt.

In Opelika, a Georgia man was killed after a two-car accident. It happened around mile marker 58 on Interstate 85 Saturday night. 24 year old Billy Lowery was killed instantly when the car he was riding in went out of control crossed the median and hit another car.

Though the numbers seem high they are actually down from last year and less than had been expected.

&uot;Last year during that same time period we had 10 deaths,&uot; said Teague. &uot;This year we had estimated that there would be about 15. We were glad the numbers were less.&uot;

Teague said despite the decline in fatalities she would still like to see a decrease.

&uot;One is too many when you’re talking about someone losing their life,&uot; said Teague. &uot;We would always hope that we could have none if at all possible.&uot;