Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

January 28, 2010

Fatal collision on I-75

CORDELE — Three people perished this past week in a late night collision on I-75 which sent two children to the hospital for treatment of injuries.

According to the Georgia State Patrol Communications Office of Tifton, the accident occurred around 10:55 p.m. Wednesday night.

Trooper Chuck Gordon who worked the wreck said the driver of a GMC pickup truck, James Jones, 56 of a Newnan address, was headed north on I-75 when he crossed the median. “I can’t tell you why he crossed over,” Gordon said, “but it appeared that he was turning because the front of the second vehicle actually struck Jones’ truck on the passenger side.” Jones died in the accident.

The other two victims, Mark Eldridge, 38 and his wife, Crystal Eldridge, 30 of Dalton, were the driver and front seat passenger in the 2004 Buick LeSabre that was struck by Jones’ truck.

They were traveling southbound. Their two daughters, ages 8 and 12 were asleep in the backseat at the time of the crash were bruised but did not suffer any serious injury.

A member of the Eldridge family who contacted the Cordele Dispatch Thursday, said the Eldridges were carrying their children to Disney World in Orlando for a vacation trip. Eldridge was a popular professional wrestler with Tri-Star Wrestling Arena who performed as a military hero named ‘Sarge.’ It was said that he often entered the ring waving American Flags.

The two children, were taken to Crisp Regional Hospital for treatment. They were released to their grandparents early Thursday morning.

Crisp County EMS, Crisp Fire and Rescue, Crisp County Sheriff's Office, GSP Post 30, GSP Special Accident Reconstruction Team and members of the Cordele Police Department all responded to the scene of the accident.

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