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Police Chief Talks About Georgia Pileup

Aired March 14, 2002 - 10:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: We now have Chief Mary Jones from the Georgia State Patrol back with us on the phone to give us the latest on what we have here as our top story this hour, this massive pileup of perhaps as many as 100 vehicles on Interstate 75 at the Georgia- Tennessee border.

Chief Jones, can you hear me now?

CHIEF MARY JONES, GEORGIA STATE PATROL: Yes, I can.

HARRIS: Thank you for taking time to talk to us. We know you're very busy right now, but what can you tell us about what is going on?

JONES: The only update I have is between 100 and 125 vehicles. North- and southbound lanes are closed. This is at 75 north at exit 348. Also 151 and Georgia 2.

We do have four confirmed fatalities. I cannot give you any other information as far as injuries, other fatalities at this time. I can tell you that the critical is being transported to Erlanger Hospital, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the others are being transported to Hutchison Medical Center (ph), in the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

HARRIS: From the looks of the pictures that we are getting, it has got to be pretty impossible to get to all of the cars. Do you know if all of the cars have been reached yet at this point?

JONES: Not at this point. We do have a command center set up. We have a start team on the ground. And we have a tremendous amount of force helping us at this time.

HARRIS: We also heard a report this morning, as well, chief, that perhaps you were dealing with a skeleton crew to work with today because of some training that was happening elsewhere in the state. Is that affecting you at all?

JONES: We have tremendous amount of forces coming to our assistance. We have enough ground crew at this time.

HARRIS: Are people being taken to hospitals in Tennessee and in Georgia.

JONES: That's correct.

HARRIS: This accident, I guess, happened there on the Georgia side of the border, or is it on the Tennessee side?

JONES: This is in the Georgia side. The Georgia side, in the county of Catoosa.

HARRIS: Can you give us an idea of exactly what time this happened? Have you figured that out yet? Or what the weather was like when it happened?

JONES: At the time we first received a call, it was 7:49. It was when we first received a call. Visibility was zero at the time.

HARRIS: Zero! Now, I have driven up and down that corridor 100 times, I can tell, and I know there are so many stretches where the fog really gets bad. But I've never heard about it being zero up there. You are saying there was absolutely no visibility?

JONES: That's what we (UNINTELLIGIBLE), that's what my radio log shows.

HARRIS: Wow, that's amazing.

We understand you are very busy.

JONES: Thank you so much, bye-bye.

HARRIS: We thank for your time, Chief Mary Jones.

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