Highway 82 reopened after fatal accident, victim identified

WIAT-Tim Reid

Accident on 82

COKER, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE: Northport Police have identified the driver of the SUV as Jared Thomas Gresham, 18 of Coker. Gresham succumbed to his injuries on the scene.

ORIGINAL: A deadly crash in Tuscaloosa county claimed one person’s life and sent another person to the hospital.

The fatal accident happened in Coker at 7:30 Thursday morning and involved a dump truck and an sport utility vehicle. According to Northport Police the driver of the dump truck was westbound and struck the other vehicle killing that driver instantly.

Coker resident Becky Beck was on pins and needles all morning. After hearing about the crash on Facebook she decided to come to scene. Beck thought the victim killed might be her daughter.

“That was the hard part not knowing if this was my baby that was in that vehicle. And I am sorry for whatever family member was in there, but that was hard,” Beck said.

Officer Carrie Baker from Northport Police says the SUV was attempting to cross Highway 82 and was struck by the dump truck headed westbound.  The impact dragged the victim’s vehicle some 100 feet and caught fire on the bridge.

Baker says the intersection has had many crashes.

“It could be drivers not paying attention, not stopping for stop signs, maybe speed also a factor. Weather and road conditions might be a factor. I believe the state is going to take a look at it,” Baker said.

Baker says six people were killed at this intersection in the past five years as a result of three car accidents.  Becky Beck wants the crossover closed.  Four years ago three young men died at the same intersection.  Her daughter dated one of the victims.

“This is a horrible place, there has been multiple accidents and so many people died and have lost their lives here. It is just not safe,” Beck said.

Police have not released the name of victim who died until family members are notified. The driver of the dump truck was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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