Police say they suspect alcohol was a factor in a three-vehicle wreck that killed two women and closed part of the intersection of Deans Bridge Road and Gordon Highway for nearly two hours Tuesday.
Hattie Umoh, 53, of the 4500 block of Gray Stone Court in Hephzibah, and Daisy Oliver, 81, of the 900 block of Hopkins Street in Augusta, were killed in the crash, said Mark Bowen, the deputy coroner for Richmond County.
The women were stopping at a red light in a green Daewoo Lanos when the crash occurred at about 2:45 p.m. in a northbound lane of Deans Bridge Road, said Sgt. Glenn Sammons, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office. Ms. Umoh was driving the Daewoo.
Authorities say the car, which couldn't be identified by police at the scene because it was so badly smashed, was rear-ended by a white GMC Sierra pickup and forced into the rear of an Augusta Public Works dump truck, which had stopped at the light.
The women's car was sandwiched between the two trucks. It took more than an hour for emergency workers, using extrication devices, to pull Ms. Umoh and Ms. Oliver from the car.
"That's probably one of the worst I've seen," Mr. Bowen said of the crash.
David Wallace Fulcher, 35, of Stevens Creek Road in Augusta, was the driver of the pickup, Deputy Byrnie Hardin Jr. said. Mr. Fulcher was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The driver of the dump truck, Johnny Boatwright, 52, of Nixon Road in Augusta, was not injured. He was taken to MCG for observation.
Police said Mr. Fulcher's truck left no skid marks before the point of impact.
"We're pretty sure alcohol was involved at this point," Sgt. Sammons said, adding that charges are pending the results of a blood-alcohol test on Mr. Fulcher.
Reach Preston Sparks at (706) 828-3904.