The one-vehicle crash before sunrise Thursday at Lakebottom was described like a spectacular stunt in an action movie.
And the driver and two passengers were fortunate nobody was killed, Columbus High School was fortunate no engraved bricks were damaged and Columbus police were fortunate the accident resulted in the arrest of someone wanted for a violation of probation in an unrelated case.
“This was more than just a simple vehicle running into a wall,” said Columbus police Maj. Julius Graham.
He gave the following account of brick-shattering event:
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A vehicle traveling west on 17th Street lost control as it approached the intersection with Cherokee Avenue, ran over a sign, went up the embankment on the northeast corner and struck Columbus High’s commemorative brick wall from behind. The vehicle went airborne for about 50 feet and spun around before coming to rest on 17th Street.
A neighbor called 911 around 2:30 a.m. after hearing the crash and seeing another vehicle pick up the driver and two passengers and leave the scene. When police arrived, they found the totalled vehicle and called for it to be towed away.
Police then got a call from The Medical Center, where the three suspects came for treatment. One was admitted to the hospital with undisclosed injuries, another left the hospital with an unknown condition, and 20-year-old Kearia Turner was arrested on charges of violating probation and giving false information to police.
The owner of the vehicle already was in the The Medical Center and being treated for a condition unrelated to the accident, Graham said.
The case remains under investigation.
After sunrise, the extent of the wall’s damage was revealed. The right side was decimated. A pile of toppled bricks was in front of the steps leading up to the school.
No damage cost estimate was reported, but Valerie Fuller, the Muscogee County School District’s communications director, said, “None of it includes the memorial bricks. Those bricks start on the other side of the wall. God is good.”