Georgia State Troopers are investigating a car crash Friday that left a woman dead and half of Marion Middle School destroyed.
The 59-year-old woman died about an hour after the accident, which occurred at around 8:00PM Friday evening. Her 3-year-old grandson was in the passenger's seat and survived the accident.
Linda Garmon lives next door to the middle school and was on her front porch when the accident happened.
"All of a sudden I see a flash, and then a loud popping noise," she said.
Garmon immediately called 911 as smoke and fire filled the evening air. Buena Vista volunteer firefighter Dwight Stubbs arrived at the scene within a few minutes.
"I live two doors down and my daughter-in-law came in screaming that someone had gotten in a wreck," he said.
Witnesses say the woman drove through a red-light at an intersection, through a stop sign, hit the curb and flew into the air. They said she traveled air-born 50 feet and hit the building. They said she was going well over the speed limit.
The cause of the accident is still unknown. Georgia State Patrol is investigating whether she was having a medical episode.
Stubbs was one of the first onto the scene. He sprinted to the passenger's side of the car and got the child out, just in time.
"I cut the seatbelts off and got the baby out," he says. "A pastor and my son got the woman out and right as we got them out, the car went into full flames."
The woman died about an hour later. The woman's grandson only suffered a cut on his arm and received stitches. Firefighters say a car seat saved the boy's life. He was in the passenger's seat, buckled into a backward car seat.
One life lost, but another life saved, all because of the vigilance of the fire crew, but Stubbs says he doesn't want to be considered a hero.
"People aren't heroes," he says. "By the grace of God, we were just at the right place at the right time to make the rescue."
Marion County Coroner Rod Aid said all the papers that could be used to identify the woman were burned in the fire. Aid does not know if a car malfunction or medical condition contributed to the accident. The woman's body has been sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.
Firefighters from Draneville, Ft. Perry, Brown Springs and Buena Vista responded to the call. They extinguished the fire around 11 PM but it rekindled. Crews got it under control early Saturday around 6 AM. On Saturday officials were still monitoring the scene and putting out spot fires.
1350 13th Avenue
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