A Portal man is behind bars and his child’s mother is in critical condition after a crash Tuesday in front of Portal Elementary School.
A 6-month-old girl was airlifted, along with her mother, to a Savannah hospital. The infant was released Wednesday while the mother remains in critical condition.
Students being released from school shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday watched as Craig Edward Percell, 38, of Sonny Hagin Road in Portal, crashed his 1994 Ford F150 into a 2003 Chevrolet Tracker driven by Terri Mosley, 22, of Banks Creek Church Road in Portal, Georgia State Patrol Senior Trooper Stan Powell said.
When asked whether the collision was intentional, Powell said, “That’s what it is looking like.” While Mosley remains in the neurological intensive care unit at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, troopers continue the investigation while awaiting the chance to question her if her condition improves, he said.
“Right now, it could go either way,” Powell said.
Evidence shows both vehicles were traveling northbound but were in the southbound turning lane when impact occurred, he said. While Percell denied the cars ever collided, parts of both vehicles were found in the road, as well as paint transfer on both vehicles, Powell said.
After Percell’s truck struck the rear of Mosley’s car, the car spun out of control and began to overturn, striking a utility pole in mid-overturn, he said.
Mosley was ejected from the car, landing about 30 feet away from its final stop. The couple’s 6-month-old baby was not ejected.
Portal Police Chief Jason Sapp and Bulloch County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jared Akins were assisting with an educational exercise at Portal Middle High School when the accident occurred.
“We were there within a minute,” Sapp said. “It was just after (the elementary school) let out.”
He and others diverted traffic to behind the school while troopers, including the GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team secured the crash scene.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents were also called to the scene, considering the possibility that the crash was intentional, Powell said.
When questioned by troopers, Percell referred to Mosley as his wife, he said. Witnesses told investigators Percell left his truck and tried to pick Mosley up after the crash. Witnesses were able to “coax him to put her back down” until EMS arrived, Powell said.
Percell was initially charged with DUI and taken to the Bulloch County Jail. While there was “alcohol present” at the crash scene, tests were taken to determine whether Percell was also under the influence of any drugs, Powell said.
Additional charges were filed Wednesday afternoon against Percell: following too closely, reckless driving, child endangerment and failure to maintain lane.
Warrants were also issued, pending further investigation, for two counts of serious injury by vehicle, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated battery, Powell said.
Percell remains in the Bulloch County Jail without bond.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.