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Nissan Altima Driver Ramps Off Parked Tow Truck, Hits Another Altima

The driver survived, even after launching 120 feet into highway traffic.
Nissan Altima Crash
screengrab via YouTube

A bizarre crash in rural Georgia that sent one vehicle flying through the air Grand Theft Auto-style has authorities reminding everyone to be mindful and move over when emergency vehicles are responding to a crash on the highway.

Last Wednesday, a 21-year-old driver of a 2014 Nissan Altima from Tallahassee, Florida, seemingly lost her focus on the road while police were responding to an incident on the opposite side of the highway. She somehow managed to accidentally pull off a stunt that many drivers’ intrusive thoughts have been asking them to do for years: use the bed of a rollback tow truck as a ramp. And perhaps even more unlikely, the crash was caught on film.

Footage of the incident was caught on the body-worn camera of Trooper Darryll Fulghum who was responding to the initial incident. It managed to capture the moments leading up to the crash, which shows the Nissan veering toward the shoulder of Route 38 while a Freightliner rollback had its bed lowered to the ground.

The trooper’s quick reaction indicates that he likely saw the accident coming. As the Altima makes contact with the tow truck, Trooper Fulghum starts running to the car. He calls for emergency medical services to respond while running and then the video then cuts off moments later after the trooper opens the car door.

“Happened yesterday in Rural South Georgia,” wrote /u/Donaltman3, the user who originally posted the video to Reddit’s /r/IdiotsInCars. “There was another accident that happened just before this…these people were rubber necking (sic) not paying attention and didn’t see the tow vehicle. The people in the car were banged up but survived, I’m not sure how.”

A copy of the accident report obtained by The Drive reveals that the Nissan only had one occupant, the 21-year-old driver, who was transported to the hospital after being removed from the vehicle.

The Reddit user went on to say that the crash bar on the front of the rollback’s bed was ripped off, but the cab “was fine” despite the car launching from it. As it turns out, the tow truck wasn’t the only vehicle involved in the crash.

The accident report indicates that Altima had traveled approximately 120 feet in the air before making contact with the ground and hitting a second Nissan Altima in an adjacent lane while it was rolling over. The airborne Nissan then traveled another 23 feet before coming to a stop. Debris from the accident also struck a deputy from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office who was taken to the hospital along with the driver of the Nissan.

As for the driver, she was cited for not wearing a seatbelt and violating Georgia’s driver’s licensing requirements.

This is probably a good reminder of why “Move Over” laws exist. Freak accidents can happen, and staying focused on your surroundings is crucial. And if you happen to see those flashing lights on the side of the road, whether it be an ambulance, fire truck, police car, or even a tow rig—move over. It could save a life.

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