Lucky Officer Escapes with Life

Cobb cop spots stalled vehicle on I-285, and fireworks begin

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Doug Payne - Staff
Saturday, July 6, 2002

The Fourth of July ended with a fiery bang for four motorists on I-285, one of them a Cobb police officer.

Sgt. G.A. Abbott was driving westbound on the Perimeter at Paces Ferry Road at 11:45 p.m. Thursday when he saw a white Pontiac Grand Am stalled one lane in from the fast lane.

The Pontiac, driven by Alexandra Sue Shane, 31, of Douglasville had no lights showing, said Cobb police spokesman Officer Dana Pierce. Abbott flipped on his blue lights and flashers and was maneuvering his police cruiser to get behind the Pontiac when his cruiser and a Honda Accord, which was also westbound on the highway, collided, Pierce said

Abbott waved the Honda, driven by Celest S. Pierce, 41, of Lithonia, off to the right side of the road and moved his car behind the stalled Pontiac. He had just gotten the cruiser into position when he was hit in the rear end by a U.S. Postal Service 18-wheeler driven by Wayne Carlos Terrell, 51, of Lawrenceville, Pierce said.

The police car and the truck's cab erupted in flames. Westbound traffic on the Interstate was blocked for about three hours, Pierce said.

All four drivers were taken to area hospitals, where they were treated for minor injuries and released. No charges have been filed, but an investigation of the accident is continuing, Pierce said.