A Portal family lost three loved ones Wednesday night in a tragic accident just inside Jenkins County. Two more family members survived, with one in critical condition at a Savannah hospital.
Lois Burke, 68, her 6-month-old great-granddaughter, Paisleigh Hill, and the baby’s mother, Cortney Hill, 23, all died in the crash around
8:45 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Highway 25 and Gay’s Hill Church Road, near the Bulloch/Jenkins county line, according to reports from Georgia State Patrol Post 21 in Sylvania.
Burke’s husband, Ottis Burke, 66, and another granddaughter, 4-year-old Aleigha Shultz, survived. Ottis Burke is in critical condition after being airlifted to Memorial Hospital in Savannah, while the 4-year-old was taken to East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro, where she was released after treatment, according to reports.
Susan Burns, who is the Burkes’ daughter and grandmother to Paisleigh and Aleigha, who are cousins, said the family was with her father at Memorial Thursday. “He is on life support,” she said, adding that doctors have not yet given the family any details on expectations about his condition.
The crash occurred as Hill, driving a 2015 Nissan Sentra, was about to make a right turn off Highway 25 onto Gay’s Hill Church Road when a 2002 Chevrolet 1500 pickup, driven by Matthew McNeil, 29, of Macon, struck them from behind. State Patrol reports were incomplete Thursday and did not include further details of the accident.
McNeil was treated at the scene for minor injuries, reports said.
Reports stated the family was leaving church when the wreck occurred.
Victims Hill and her baby lived on Banks Dairy Road in Portal, while the Burkes reside on Cowboy Way in Portal.
GSP reports list charges as “pending” and state the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) continues to investigate. Troopers J. B. Scott and A.M. Cheney responded to the scene.
Donations to assist the Burke/Hill family in handling funeral expenses may be made online at https://www.youcaring.com/pfc-jamie-hill-susan-burns-511772#.VqplB4SfM8k.facebook.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.