Originally created 09/12/98

Charges in crash debated



Columbia County authorities are still debating whether to charge the 16-year-old driver of a car involved in a Thursday afternoon accident that injured four Greenbrier High School students.

Corey Coggins, a sophomore, was found to be the driver at fault when his 1981 Toyota Tercel slid into the path of an oncoming pickup on Old Washington Road, causing the crash, sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said Friday.

"Any charges are pending a complete investigation, which could include, but not limited to, an interview of the driver and lab results," Capt. Morris said.

Corey and three schoolmates, who all live in the Rolling Meadows subdivision near Grovetown, were driving home from Greenbrier High when the wreck occurred on a narrow dirt road less than three miles from the school.

He and 15-year-old Timmy Oliver were trapped in the vehicle after the accident, but they were later freed by rescue workers.

Timmy's condition was upgraded from critical to serious at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, while Cory remained in critical condition late Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Jeremy Nix, 16, was taken to MCG as well, where he was listed in fair condition Friday.

A fourth passenger, 17-year-old Meriya Williams, was at home Friday after being treated and released at Columbia Augusta Medical Center.

While the speed limit posted for Old Washington Road is 35 mph, police say it is difficult to determine the speed of the Toyota.

None of the teens involved in the crash was wearing seat belts, according to the accident report.

The driver of the other vehicle, 45-year-old Roger Nichols, of Augusta, was not injured and will not be charged, police said.