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At least two injured in four-vehicle wreck on 301 North
011007 TRUCK WRECK web 1
Firefighters assess the damage and take pictures after a log truck crashed into one of the Georgia National Guard buildings on U.S. 301 Wednesday. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Armory Wreck 2

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Armory wreck

Wreck scene on 301 North Wednesday.

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Armory Wreck 2

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    A Swainsboro man remains in critical condition after a four-car crash Wednesday that sent the log truck he was driving through a block building.
    Investigators are still trying to sort out the cause of the accident, but Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper D. H. Averitt said it appears the crash occurred after a DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) vehicle driven by Bulloch County Sheriff's Capt. Lee Harris struck a white Toyota Camry driven by Brooklet resident Linda Kimble, 61.
    After the initial impact, the log truck driven by Johnny Edward McNeely, 70, Swainsboro, struck Kimble's car as well, Averitt said.
    Then, Harris' vehicle struck a Coca Cola van driven by Michael Bird, 41, of Statesboro, he said.
    The Camry came to rest in the eastbound lane of U.S. 301 North, while Harris' and Bird's vehicles came to a stop on the north shoulder and ditch.
    McNeely, who had been heading west, lost control of his truck and crossed the eastbound lane, then crossed the ditch and plowed through a cinder block building occupied by the Georgia State Defense Force, affiliated with the Georgia National Guard.
    No one was inside the building when the accident occurred, witnesses said.
    Harris and Kimble were transported to East Georgia Regional Medical Center by EMS, and both were treated and released, Averitt said.
    McNeely was flown by Life Star helicopter to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, where he was admitted to an intensive care unit and listed in critical condition, he said.
    Bird was treated at the scene, but was not transported, Averitt said.
    Rescue workers removed Kimble from the Camry, which suffered extensive damage to the rear, the front and the passenger side.
    They also had to use tools to extricate McNeely from the log truck. The cab of the truck, inside the building, had shattered into pieces, with portions of the truck body scattered among bricks, blocks and other debris. Almost all of the truck and its log-laden trailer was inside the building, with only a portion of its rear end till outside.
    Harris was not on an emergency call when the accident occurred, he said.
    Debris covered the roadway where the accident occurred directly across from the former Georgia State Patrol post and the National Guard Armory.
    Sgt. John Baker, a National Guard recruiter who was outside when the accident occurred, said he did not see the accident, but "  .... heard a bunch of brakes squealing and cars stopping" and heard a loud bang as the truck rammed through the building.
    Averitt said charges are pending in the accident, and said reports are incomplete because the accident remains under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team and himself as well as other GSP troopers.
    There was no indication Harris had been speeding, he said.
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