The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

December 14, 2006

Thursday fog blamed for wrecks

By Karen Middleton

The late American poet Carl Sandburg wrote, “The fog comes on little cat feet,” but for Limestone County motorists, the fog came with a bang and a crash Thursday morning.

Both Alabama State Troopers and Athens City police worked numerous wrecks blamed on the early morning fog.

Fortunately, only two resulted in slight injuries for drivers in our area, although visibility was not much more than a couple of car lengths.

At 6:10 a.m., troopers report that a 2002 Ford driven by Connie Easter, 46, of Athens and a 1998 BMW driven by Timothy Branstetter, 51, of Glasgow, Ky., collided on Shaw Road, seven miles southwest of Athens. Branstetter, who was wearing a seat belt, was injured. An Athens-Limestone Hospital spokeswoman said he was treated and released.

According to Lt. Steve Moore of the Athens Police Department, the wrecks continued at 7:36 a.m. when a 1997 Chevrolet Camaro driven by Benjamin Bradley, 27, of Brownsferry Road, Athens, collided at the Tanner crossroads with a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Barbara Wales, 54, of Caroline Road, Tanner. Wales was taken by ambulance to Athens-Limestone Hospital by ambulance, where she was treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

At 8:35 a.m., Moore said that a rear-end collision occurred in the westbound lanes of U.S. 72 East, between Babdaly Road and Lindsay Lane, when a semi-tractor-trailer rig hit the back of a silver sport utility vehicle. No other information was available about that wreck, although it appeared the SUV driver was slightly injured.

At 9:03 a.m., another collision occurred at Tanner crossroads between a 1996 Chevrolet Astro driven by Ricky Reaves, 43, of South El Paso St., Russellville, Ark., and a 1998 Ford Ranger driven by Antonio Ortez, 29, of Brownsferry Road, Athens. No one was injured in that wreck.

Motorists should also proceed with caution this morning, although the National Weather Service Office in Huntsville had not issued a fog advisory as of late last night.

Forecaster Steve Shumway said some fog is predicted for this morning, but not as widespread or thick as Thursday’s.

“The fog is mostly concentrated around rivers, lakes and low-lying areas,” said Shumway. “But it’s still going to be out there as it moves in after midnight with some locally dense areas.”