Thankfully, no fatalities were reported over the long Thanksgiving weekend, however two accidents did result in a Macon County man being flown to Vanderbilt by a medical helicopter and three teenagers transported to MCGH, and local law enforcement would like to take this time to remind drivers to please take extra precautions on the road during this holiday season.

Officer Henry Behr, of the Lafayette Police Department, investigated a four car collision at the intersection of Scottville Road and Ellington around noon on Friday, November 26th, which sent 46-year-old Barry Cothron, of Lafayette, to Vanderbilt Medical Center by air ambulance, where he was treated and released the next day.

According to Behr, Vehicle #1, a GMC Sonoma pickup truck driven by Cothron, was traveling south on the Scottsville Road. Vehicle #2, a 1991 Pontiac Sunbird, with 32-year-old Yari Bustamante, of Lafayette, behind the wheel, was traveling west on Ellington Drive, when she pulled out from the stop sign at the intersection, into the path of vehicle #1. After he hit her broadside, Cothron crossed the intersection and went off into the yard of the corner residence, coming to rest.

“After vehicle #2 was hit,” stated Behr, “it spun around 180 degrees and the back end hit the front end of vehicle #3, a silver Pontiac Grand Am, driven by 59-year-old Kenneth Philips, of Lafayette, who was east bound on Ellington and was sitting at the stop sign. The impact then pushed vehicle #3 into vehicle #4, which was a 2004 silver Chevrolet pickup driven by Terry Burgett, age 50, of Lafayette, who was also eastbound at the stop sign behind Phillips. Vehicle #2 then traveled back across the intersection stopping in the northbound lane at Ellington.”

A young passenger was briefly pinned behind the passenger front seat in the Bustamante automobile in a booster seat, but the Lafayette Fire Department and Macon County Rescue Squad quickly extricated the child and she was transported to MCGH where she was treated and released. The female driver was cited for driving without a license and no insurance.

Emergency responders included the LPD, LFD, Macon County Rescue, EMS, and the Macon County Chronicle.

An early morning accident at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, December 27th, on Dotson Road, in the Galen Community, sent three juveniles to the local hospital with non life threatening injuries. According to the Macon County Sheriffs Department the wet roads and other circumstances were factors in the wreck that left a Chevrolet S10 truck upside down in a creek bed.

I spoke with LPD Chief Ray Amalfitano and Sheriff Mark Gammons over the weekend and they both have a message for holiday travelers.

“As the holidays get closer and drivers become more frustrated, they are potential traffic hazards,” said Chief Amalfitano. “When drivers go to the grocery store or to buy gifts, it always seems like everyone else goes at the same time. Here are some tips to keep you safe and keep insurance costs down: Leave your home early to get where you are going; keep a close eye on speed limit signs; make all calls and texts before you get behind the wheel; keep at least three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you; keep your radio turned down low; always wear your seat belt; be aware of your surroundings; do not drive when you are taking medications that may make you drowsy; do not drink and drive; be sure you have all of your vehicles’ paperwork in your car; and make sure your child is in a proper child safety seat.”

Chief Ray Amalfitano and the Lafayette Police Department would like to wish every one a very happy and safe Christmas & New Year!

“During the holiday season there are more people on the highways,” said Sheriff Mark Gammons, “and drivers are urged to be more cautious and alert when traveling. Be courteous to other drivers and leave enough time to get where you are going without rushing. With cold weather moving in, the roads can become treacherous with freezing ice and snow, so always be careful if you are out in these conditions.”

The Macon County Sheriffs Department would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!