AUBURN - The Georgia State Patrol is investigating a two-vehicle crash in Barrow County that killed one person and injured two others Friday morning.
A Volume Transportation tractor-trailer and a car collided shortly after 9 a.m. near the intersection of Ga. Highway 316 and Patrick Mill Road on Friday. Both vehicles ran off the road into a nearby wooded area.
State Trooper First Class Curtis Bradshaw said the Lexus was traveling west on Ga. 316 and its driver attempted to turn left in front of the truck traveling east when the car was hit on the passenger's side, splitting the Lexus in two.
Firefighters pulled Kted and Weol Kim of Comer from the mangled green Lexus LS-400 bearing a Madison County license plate. Bradshaw said Weol Kim, 78, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, Kted Kim, 79, was transported to Gwinnett Medical Center then transferred to Atlanta Medical Center in serious condition.
"It appears that what caused (the tractor-trailer driver) to lose control was there was a little ditch that runs parallel with the road, and when he hit that it mostly likely caused the load to shift and the truck to fall over on its left side," Bradshaw said.
Barrow and Gwinnett firefighters worked to rescue the driver of the semi, 38-year-old Stacey Edward Campbell of Tallapoosa from the cab of the overturned truck.
Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge said Gwinnett County firefighters arrived at the scene shortly before 10 a.m. after their help was requested by Barrow County firefighters.
Rutledge said 10 of the department's firefighters worked with Barrow firefighters using chisels, cutters and other equipment to free Campbell.
Crews worked for nearly four hours to free Campbell, whose legs were crushed under mangled pieces of metal.
Rutledge said firefighters first had to cut tree branches and brush from around the truck before rescue crews could get to Campbell.
"This was an extremely methodical and thought out rescue," said Gwinnett County fire Capt. Rod Dawson, who helped rescue Campbell. "Every piece of metal was connected to another and that was touching his body. So we really had to think about this rescue. We administered medical first aid while he was inside the truck."
Dawson said Campbell's legs were crushed and firefighters were concerned about crush syndrome, which could cause toxins to be released from the body into the blood once the pressure of the metal and debris was released.
Campbell was freed about 1:15 p.m. and airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in guarded condition, Bradshaw said.
Barrow County firefighter Earnest Weant, who also assisted in freeing Campbell, said the truck driver was alert, talking with firefighters for the duration of the rescue.
"I was surprised to see him alive in there," Weant said.
Tony Anderson of Volume Transportation's safety department said he arrived at the scene shortly after he got the news Campbell was trapped.
"We heard our driver was caught inside so we're just making sure they get him out OK," Anderson said.
Anderson said he has worked for the trucking company, which mostly transports consumer goods to department stores, for about seven years, and he had never seen an accident as bad as Friday's during his time with the company.