Missing stop sign may have led to accident that killed Ga. minister

Thursday, Nov. 26, 2009 9:24 AM
Last updated 3:24 PM
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SYLVANIA, Ga. -- Authorities say a downed stop sign could be responsible for last weekend's traffic death of a Methodist minister.

Rev. Joseph Roberson  Morris News Service
Morris News Service
Rev. Joseph Roberson

It was daylight and clear weather at 4:40 p.m.Saturday when the Rev. Joseph Roberson, 57, was traveling westbound on Poor Robin Road, said Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Ben Forehand.

A yellow sign saying "Stop Ahead" was still in place, but the stop sign at Georgia Highway 21 was lying on the ground, the trooper said.

The Rev. Roberson drove past the downed sign in his 2009 Honda Accord, across the northbound lanes of Highway 21 and into the southbound lanes, where a southbound tractor trailer driven by a Sylvania man struck his car in the passenger side.

The truck, a 1998 Freightliner, was carrying 47,000 pounds of paper in its box.

"There's no way he could have stopped," Sgt. Forehand said. "It's like trying to stop a train."

The truck driver was not injured in the accident.

Sg.t Forehand said the Rev. Roberson didn't stop when he reached the divided highway.

"The truck driver saw a white blur," he said.

The stop sign was in place earlier in the day, but apparently was knocked down sometime during the day Saturday, said Screven County Sheriff Mike Kile.

The sheriff said he thinks, based on the way the sign and tire tracks looked, that the sign was knocked down by a logging truck.

The Rev. Roberson had been appointed district superintendent in June of the Statesboro district of the South Georgia United Methodist Conference. He oversaw about 80 churches in the area.

Before moving to Statesboro, the Rev. Roberson was pastor of South Columbus United Methodist Church in Columbus, Ga., for 15 years. He also was on the Muscogee County School Board in Columbus.

Funeral and memorials

A funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Luke UMC, at 1104 Second Ave., in Columbus.

Burial will be at 1 p.m. Monday in Waynesboro. Memorials may be made to the South Columbus UMC Building Fund. Expressions of concern may be sent to the family at 3010 Peyton Drive in Columbus, 31903.

Comments (12) Add comment
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charliemanson
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charliemanson 11/26/09 - 09:38 am
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Condolences to the family.

Condolences to the family.

Boston93
117
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Boston93 11/26/09 - 09:40 am
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How does a sign knocked down

How does a sign knocked down by a possible logging truck look?

Lp_J
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Lp_J 11/26/09 - 09:41 am
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if you ran over that sign do

if you ran over that sign do yhe right thing and step up

corgimom
38744
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corgimom 11/26/09 - 09:45 am
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Dented and broken off,

Dented and broken off, Boston. This is just sad, what a tragedy.

crackerjack
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crackerjack 11/26/09 - 09:56 am
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Probably the bald tire tracks

Probably the bald tire tracks on each side of the fallen sign, and the metal dented and red paint peeled off 6 feet off the ground.

Ya Think!

clyde1
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clyde1 11/26/09 - 10:22 am
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crackerjack - you're rude and

crackerjack - you're rude and insensitive. That was really uncalled for. A tragedy has happened and you want to use it as an opportunity to show your lack of tact and compassion. A man has been killed, and many are in mourning right now. Please think about this tragedy and the people affected by it.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 11/26/09 - 10:38 am
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My condolences to the family.

My condolences to the family.

fred1217
4
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fred1217 11/26/09 - 11:06 am
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Logs sometime extend off the

Logs sometime extend off the trailer bed of logging trucks and while making a tight turn could have knocked the stop sign down. I believe that is what the Sheriff was eluding to based on his examination of the damage on the sign. That's a small detail in a tragic accident and it's sad that anyone could find humor in such an accident.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 11/26/09 - 05:06 pm
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How is what he said rude or

How is what he said rude or humorous? Seems to me like he was just answering a question about how they could tell it was a log truck. My guess is theres evidence of the logs around. My condolences to the family.

crackerjack
153
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crackerjack 11/26/09 - 06:17 pm
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What Humor?, "How does a sign

What Humor?, "How does a sign knocked down by a possible logging truck look?" a question asked by Boston93, well this is only one of many scenarios that are possible, funny.......I don't think so, and it wasn't meant to be. It's sad that because of someones negligence, someone had to lose their life. I was explaining a scenario to someone that had a hard time understanding how law enforcement could arrive at that conclusion.

TakeAstand
13
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TakeAstand 11/26/09 - 06:42 pm
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I got what you said

I got what you said crackerjack, lol Reading comprehension is a good thing to pick up huh? lol

Jdog33
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Jdog33 11/30/09 - 11:29 am
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I pray for the family

I pray for the family

justus4
113
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justus4 11/30/09 - 06:36 pm
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Nothing about charging the
Unpublished

Nothing about charging the truckdriver, why?

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