By Joe Johnson
Seven people, including five University of Georgia students, reportedly were injured Tuesday night in a two-vehicle collision in Athens.
Two of the students were said to have been critically injured.
According to Georgia State Patrol Sgt. First Class Tim Meyer, troopers responded at about 9:36 p.m. to Taco Bell at the intersection of West Broad and Alps Road to investigate a crash with multiple injuries.
The investigation determined that a 2003 Chevrolet Trailblazer driven by 22-year-old UGA student Charles Smith III and occupied by four other students was travelling west on Broad Street when he attempted to turn left into the Taco Bell driveway, but he drove into the path of an eastbound 2013 Nissan Altima operated by Lindsey Lowry, 36, of Winterville, which Meyer said T-boned the Trailblazer's passenger side.
Two of the student passengers were not wearing seatbelts and may have been ejected from the Trailblazer, according to Meyer.
He identified them as Lauren Chamberlin and Saxton Usry, both 21, who suffered serious injuries. They, the driver and two other passengers, Jacob Casey, 21, and Gracie Page, 22, were transported to Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center with “varying degrees” of non-life-threatening injuries, Meyer said.
Chamberlin and Usry remained in the hospital’s intensive care unit Wednesday morning, the trooper said.
Lowry, the Nissan’s driver and her passenger, 24-year-old Jonathan Jackson, whose residence was unknown, were transported to St. Mary’s Hospital with minor injuries, according to Meyer, who is commanding officer of GSP Post 32 in Athens.
Meyer said that DUI was not a contributing factor in the collision, but the incident continued to be investigated with charges pending against the Trailblazer’s driver.