By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Statistically, most traffic accidents occur within 25 miles of a person’s home or job.
But a two-car collision that happened April 24 just off Jack Springs Road provided a Freemanville man and an Atmore woman with living proof that wrecks sometimes occur a lot closer than that.
Kenneth R. Staples, 30, and Margaret Lymon, 60, each were taken by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital after the freak accident, which happened around 2:50 p.m. on Jefferson Lane.
Staples had just pulled out of his driveway and had driven only a few yards to the stop sign at the dirt road’s junction with Jack Springs Road when out of the corner of his eye he saw an out-of-control vehicle headed directly toward his driver’s side door.
According to a witness, Staples threw his 2001 Dodge Ram pickup into reverse and was able to back up just enough that the careening car — a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Lymon — missed the passenger cab and struck the truck almost head-on.
According to reports filed by Alabama State Troopers, Lymon was northbound on County Road 1 (Jack Springs Road) when she “fell asleep, left the roadway and struck Staples.”
Area law enforcement officers at the wreck site said that witnesses and physical evidence indicate that a lot happened within the few seconds between the time the car left the roadway and the time it slammed into the truck.
Staples, an unidentified passenger in his truck (who was not injured) and other witnesses told lawmen and medical personnel that the car left the roadway as it went into a curve.
The suddenly-wide-awake driver reportedly gripped the Crown Vic’s steering wheel as the car jumped a concrete culvert and slid along the incline of a ditch for about 20 yards.
When it came out of the ditch, Lymon’s vehicle hit a mailbox and a wooden culvert frame before it collided with the pickup.
Both vehicles sustained significant damage.
A Poarch Police Department patrol officer, a Poarch Fire Department engine crew and an Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deputy were the first emergency personnel on the scene.
Staples and Lymon were each examined by Poarch paramedics and an ambulance crew, and both were taken to ACH for treatment. Neither was believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Ironically, the Atmore woman was on her way to work and was only about 50 yards from the convenience store at which she is employed when the bizarre incident occurred.
“They say that most wrecks happen close to home,” said a public safety officer who asked that his name not be published. “If this one had been much closer to the pickup driver’s home, the lady would have had to run up in his yard and hit him. And she was almost to her job when it happened. This one wasn’t the kind of wreck we see every day.”
News photo by Don Fletcher