Originally created 03/29/03

Engler recovers after fatal wreck

Augusta's John Engler is home recuperating from Sunday's automobile accident that killed two people and left him hospitalized.

David Hudson, a friend of the family, said Engler was released from University Hospital on Thursday and is at his parents' home in Augusta. He suffered a concussion and broke his leg in two places in the wreck that occurred at 4:06 p.m. in Johnson County, Ga.

Engler, a 24-year-old golf star who played at Richmond Academy and Clemson, was driving his 2002 Chevy Tahoe north on U.S. 78 when - according to the Georgia State Patrol post in Swainsboro, Ga. - he veered into the oncoming lane and struck a 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by 44-year-old Bryan Rampey of Ailey, Ga. Rampey and his wife, 51-year-old Leslie Rampey, were killed instantly.

Engler, who played in a Hooters Tour event Saturday in Albany, Ga., and went hunting with his uncle Sunday morning, was pulled from his burning car by passers-by.

Hudson said the Engler family planned to call loved ones of the Rampeys "to express their sorrow with the loss of life."

"They have a great sense of grief because of people being killed in the accident," Hudson said.

State trooper Wesley Hutchinson said a special reconstruction team spent four hours at the scene of the accident Tuesday. He expects to receive the team's findings in the next few days.

"When they finish their diagram, you'll be able to tell exactly what happened," he said.

No charges have been filed. Blood tests on Engler and the Rampeys are pending.

Reach Larry Williams at (706) 823-3645 or larry.williams@augustachronicle.com


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