Accident sends 9 people to hospital

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An accident on Interstate 20 in Taliaferro County sent nine people to the hospital Friday, authorities said.

At 4:56 p.m., a Chrysler Town and Country van was traveling west in the left lane by mile marker 152 when a tire blew. As the van tried to pull over to the right lane, the driver lost control and the van drifted back into traffic and struck a pickup truck traveling in the same direction, Georgia State Highway Patrol troopers said.

The van then hit the median, where it flipped and caught fire. All seven occupants were helped out of the van by passers-by. They were taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital by ambulance.

The truck also drifted into the median and flipped. The driver was transported by helicopter with critical injuries, troopers said. A passenger in the truck was also taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The accident temporarily closed both westbound lanes of the highway. The names of the injured have not been released.

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