Heflin police Capt. A.J. Benefield, who is serving as interim chief, said Robert Brooks, the driver of a southbound Jeep Grand Cherokee, made an illegal U-turn on the highway in front of a white Hyundai Sonata. The Hyundai, also headed south on Alabama 9, struck the Cherokee’s driver side, he said. Benefield declined to release any other information about the drivers or passengers until the investigation is complete.
Four people in the Grand Cherokee were injured, said Tana Jeffers, whose brother, Ricky Whitley, was a passenger in the car. Jeffers spoke to a reporter at the scene of the wreck, having arrived after she heard about the accident.
Brooks, Samantha Reeder, Michael Reeder and Whitley were all injured and heading to Regional Medical Center in Anniston, Jeffers said.
Whitley was going to the hospital in a private car with a possible rib injury, she said. Samantha Reeder and Brooks were also taken to RMC. The three were able to walk after the accident, and the injuries were probably minor, Jeffers said.
She was unsure about the extent of Michael Reeder’s injuries. Jeffers believed he was airlifted to a hospital in Birmingham.
Tracy Lambert, interim director of Cleburne County Emergency Medical Service, confirmed that one of the ambulances met a helicopter in Oxford and the other ambulance went to RMC. Lambert was unsure how many people had been taken to RMC, he said.
“Bad-luck day,” Jeffers said as she headed to her car to go and check on her family.
The driver of the Hyundai, a Heflin man in his 20s, did not go to a hospital, Benefield said. Benefield declined to release the man’s name.
The accident was still under investigation Thursday afternoon, Benefield said.
Staff writer Laura Camper: 256-463-2872. On Twitter @LCamper_Star.