18 Wheeler Accident At Cherokee Health & Rehabilitation Center / UPDATED / Statement from CCHRC


Two people were injured Wednesday afternoon around 5:30 – when an 18 wheeler ran off the Cedar Bluff Road hitting 4 vehicles in the parking lot of Cherokee Health and Rehab.  The occupied vehicle was pinned between the big rig and the Nursing Home building.  The truck driver sustained some cuts and bruises to the head but was able to assist in backing the truck away from the pinned vehicle.

Multiple wrecker and towing companies responded and assisted in getting the truck back enough so first responders could get to the victims.

The Cherokee County Rescue Squad with the assistance of multiple fire department members and Floyd EMS removed the entrapped victims.  The top of the Kia SUV had to be cut away so the victims could be removed.

The two victims have been identified as Damien Bailey, the driver, and Ashley Marie Leonard, an employee of the facility; both were transported to Floyd/Atrium Hospital where Bailey was treated and released – while Leonard had to undergo surgery – her condition remains unknown at this time

Shortly after the crash the Executive Director of the Nursing Home Donnie Lowe, told WEIS Radio News all the employees and residents of the facility were accounted for and seemed to be alright.  However, Lowe later told us that at least one resident, an employee, and a visitor both of whom were inside the building, were transported for observation and treatment.

Lowe praised all first responders who were on the scene, saying they did an excellent job in assessing the situation and sprang into action to remove the victims from the wreckage – adding that his emergency response team at Cherokee Health and Rehab performed their duties in taking care of the residents involved in the situation.

The truck was owned and operated by a private company from Blue Ridge, Georgia. The vehicle was empty; the driver spoke to WEIS News and said he was familiar with the area and had been traveling through on a regular basis for the past 5 years.

Centre Police Department Officers and Investigators are doing the investigation are preparing a report.

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