HALEYVILLE - A two-vehicle crash late Monday afternoon, Aug. 26, on 11th Avenue in Haleyville near the Quick Shop, left one person dead and two injured.
Jerry Parsons, 72, of Haleyville was pronounced dead at the scene by Winston County Deputy Coroner Tracey Yealock. No official cause of death was available as of press time Tuesday morning, Aug. 27.
The crash occurred around 3:45 p.m. in the sharp curve of 11th Avenue nearest Newburg Road, involving a white Lincoln driven by Parsons and a green SUV occupied twice, according to the Haleyville Police Department.
The occupants of the SUV were reportedly injured and were transported by Regional Paramedical Service to the emergency room at Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville, according to police. The names of the persons injured have not been released by Haleyville Police.
The Lincoln was traveling on 11th Avenue toward Haleyville, while the green SUV was traveling toward Newburg Road when the vehicles collided head-on at an angle on the driver's side, according to Haleyville Police Sgt. Rodney Lewis.
The Haleyville Fire Department had to use the Jaws of Life apparatus on both vehicles in order to free the occupants, officials on the scene said.
Police waited for the coroner to arrive to make the official pronunciation of death, after which Parsons was removed from the vehicle by firefighters, officials on the scene said.
Katrina Jacobs, who lives on 11th Avenue not far from where the accident occurred, noted, “We heard a boom. I asked my husband what was going on and he said he thought it was a transformer.”
The couple then heard sirens go by, so they went outside to see emergency responders gathering toward the end of 11th Avenue approaching Newburg Road, she said.
“It's just heart wrenching, just a loss for words,” Jacobs said.
After learning they might know someone involved in the crash, E.J. Batchelor was the first to run to the scene, finding both vehicles facing toward Haleyville. The impact reportedly knocked the green SUV completely around to where it was facing the opposite direction of how it had been traveling.
Batchelor sought to help the occupants, talking to one of the occupants of the green SUV and seeing an older man in the Lincoln.
A neighbor called 9-1-1, Batchelor said. Batchelor recalled the passenger in the green SUV’s legs were underneath the dash with his face pressed against the inflated air bag, Batchelor recalled.
Resident Nathan Ivey added, “I arrived (home) shortly after work and witnessed the paramedics here...When I first saw it, I knew it was going to be bad.”
The Winston County Coroner's Office transported Lincoln from the scene, authorities on the scene said.
The fire department blocked off the section of 11th Avenue where the crash occurred, detouring traffic onto 29th Street then back onto Newburg Road, police said.
“We ask everyone to pray for the family,” Lewis stated. “It's a tragic thing no one expects. It never gets any easier.”
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.