A Georgia Southern University football player from Eatonton will not be on the field this year after he suffered injuries in a head-on collision Sunday morning.
Aaron Lewis, 20, of Eatonton, was traveling south on State Route 24/U.S. 441 shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, when his Nissan Versa was hit head-on by a Honda Accord being driven by Quinton Franklin, 28, of Milledgeville, according to Georgia State Patrol Trooper J.D. Cook. The crash happened near Pearl Moon Drive, and Franklin was passing in a no-passing zone, the trooper said.
After it was struck, Lewis’ car came to a stop in the roadway, and he was able to crawl out, Cook said. Rescuers said he had crawled out of the passenger side of the car and was lying on the ground when they arrived.
Franklin’s Honda went off the roadway, which is typical of head-on collisions, Cook said. Franklin and his passenger, Samantha Ryan, 30, also of Milledgeville, were trapped inside, and Eatonton Fire Department First Responders used specialized extrication tools to get them out. They both were flown by medical helicopter to a hospital in Macon.
“Eatonton Fire Department, Putnam Fire Rescue, Putnam EMS and Morgan EMS did an outstanding job Sunday morning rescuing the victims from the wreckage and taking care of them,” Eatonton Fire Chief Eugene Hubert said. “It was a tough job, and everyone worked together well to get it done.”
Sunday evening, Cook said he had talked by phone with both Franklin and Ryan, and they each were out of surgery and expected to recover.
Lewis had been taken by Putnam County EMT ambulance to a hospital in Athens, where he underwent surgery to have pins put in his fractured arm. A family member said Lewis was redshirted last year with the Eagles and had been looking forward to playing this year.
Franklin was charged with improper passing.