The accident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at the intersection of U.S. Highway 84 and Bert Phillips Road in eastern Decatur County, according to state troopers from the Georgia State Patrol’s Colquitt, Ga., post.
Heather Barlow, 36, of Climax, was driving a Chrysler Sebring. She approached the highway from the south, toward Climax, and stopped at a stop sign. However, she failed to yield to oncoming traffic, and as the Sebring crossed over the highway’s westbound lanes, the car was struck by a semi truck that was unable to stop, said Sgt. Jeromy Roberts of the GSP’s Colquitt post.
The semi truck ran into the passenger side of the car, which slid sideways onto the northern shoulder of the highway. The semi truck veered off in the opposite direction, crossing both the grassy median and the highway’s eastbound lanes before coming to rest partially in the woods south of the highway.
Barlow and her 10-year-old daughter, Emma, who was riding in the front passenger seat of the car, passed away at the scene of the accident, according to GSP Sgt. Roberts. Emma Barlow was a student at Hutto Middle School in Bainbridge, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Five-year-old Khloe Barlow, who was riding in a child seat the right rear passenger area of the car, was injured. Khloe Barlow was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital by an emergency medical helicopter, according to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office. Captain Liz Croley of the Sheriff’s Office said the five-year-old daughter was in stable condition as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, but was undergoing tests to make sure there weren’t any hidden injuries.
The driver of the truck, who was driving for Delta Tank Lines of Valdosta, Ga., was not injured in the crash, Roberts said. The state trooper said he was unsure what the truck was supposed to be carrying but said he understood it was empty at the time of the crash.
All four lanes of U.S. Highway 84 were shut down at the intersection. Georgia Department of Transportation workers and Sheriff’s deputies helped detour traffic around the scene of the accident using alternate routes through Climax. The Decatur County Fire and Rescue, the Climax Volunteer Fire Department and Decatur EMS also responded to the accident.
Other officers from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, including Motor Vehicle Carrier Compliance officers, assisted state troopers from the GSP’s Colquitt post at the scene. Trooper T.J. Anderson is investigating the accident.