Two people were loaded into ambulances on gurneys; a third was loaded into a police car in handcuffs, after an early morning, March 23, collision between two pickups.
The mishap occurred around 6:15 a.m. at the junction of Martin Luther King Drive and East Sunset Drive, just outside Atmore’s city limits but in its police jurisdiction, when a 1982 Chevrolet Silverado and a 1998 Ford 150 met nearly head-on.
According to Alabama State Trooper reports, Melissa Bell Woods, 54, of Atmore was headed east on East Sunset Drive in the Ford and “ran the stop sign at the intersection of MLK and struck (the Chevrolet) almost head on as it was making a left turn from East Sunset onto MLK, southbound.”
Atmore Police Department was the first law enforcement agency on the scene. According to an APD incident report, the Silverado’s driver — 50-year-old Frederick Lynn James, also of Atmore — “fled on foot” as officers arrived.
City police charged James with one count each of leaving the scene of an accident with injury and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement officers. He was allowed to post bond on those charges immediately, then taken to the Escambia County Detention Center by troopers, who charged him with driving under the influence.
The Silverado bore the brunt of the crash, as its grill, hood and front end were bent. Two people were in each truck when the wreck occurred.
According to reports, a passenger in the Ford refused medical treatment, but Bell and a passenger in the Chevrolet, Phyllis Delores Abrams, were taken to Atmore Community Hospital with injuries that were labeled “minor.”