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Failure to Yield Causes Fatality At Crossroads

The October 20 wreck at the intersection of Sawmill Road (Highway 292) and State Route 15 (James Street) in Higgston was caused by a driver’s failure to yield to the stop sign posted along the roadway.

According to the investigation conducted by the Georgia State Patrol (GSP), Daisy May Taylor, 65, of Glenwood, was travelling eastbound along Sawmill Road when she entered the road’s intersection with SR 15, which runs in front of Higgston Baptist Church, without stopping at the posted stop signs. Because drivers traveling along SR 15 are not required to stop, Edward Bell, 56, of Vidalia, collided with Taylor upon her entry into the intersection.

Bell was traveling north in a 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty truck when he hit Taylor’s 2016 Buick Enclave, as his front bumper struck her passenger door in the northbound lane of SR 15. Upon continued from page

impact, Taylor’s vehicle traveled 88 feet northward and struck a sign and cable wire adjacent to the roadway before coming to an uncontrolled rest with her vehicle facing eastward on the right shoulder of SR 15. Bell’s truck continued to travel north for 81 feet before striking a curve and rotating clock-wise. He eventually came to an uncontrolled final rest also facing eastward on the right shoulder of SR 15.

Taylor was pronounced dead at the scene, and a blood alcohol and/or drug test has been submitted to determine if any substance usage contributed to the accident, but the results have not been disclosed by GSP. Bell was uninjured in the crash, but a passenger in his vehicle, Victor Hester, 63, of Woodbine, was taken to Memorial Health Meadows Hospital by Toombs-Montgomery EMS for possible injury.

This accident is not the first of its kind at this intersection, as husband and wife David and Patty Winge were traveling south on SR 15 in 2019 when an eastbound pickup truck ran the stop sign and tboned the couple, causing them to continue to travel through the Higgston Baptist Church sign adjacent to the intersection. The couple both succumbed to their injuries from the crash.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), 75% of all traffic crashes in Georgia were reported to occur at or adjacent to intersections, as of 2019. State highway intersections, such as the intersection at Higgston, are controlled by the State Highway System, which is monitored by GDOT, making any alteration to the intersection subject to approval approved by the governing authority.

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