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SUNDAY, MAY 20, 2007
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Single-car accident claims 1 life

By Chris Paschenko
chris@decaturdaily.com · 340-2442

MOULTON — A man died Saturday evening when his car left a rural two-lane highway, entered the woods and broke into pieces.

Authorities had not released the man’s name late Saturday.

Chad Fretwell of Huntsville said he was traveling east on Alabama 36 east of Wren when a sports car appeared behind him shortly after 7.

“A guy in an Eclipse weaved in front of us with his hazard lights on,” Fretwell said. “He was doing about 100 mph when he passed us and just missed a truck on the opposite side of the road.”

Fretwell, who is a nurse at Huntsville Hospital, said he saw a dust cloud about a mile farther down the road and realized the car had left the highway.

“The front end of the car was completely ripped off, about 15 to 20 feet from the actual wreck,” Fretwell said. “He was a white male about 30 years old.”

Fretwell said a local firefighter was parked at the wreck when he arrived. Fretwell said he looked for but found no other occupants of the car.

State troopers said the driver was the only occupant.

State and Lawrence County authorities blocked the east lanes of the road, and volunteer firefighters used spotlights to illuminate the scene.

The car rested on its side against a tree that had its bark shaved off up to 8 feet from the ground.

Some residents of the nearby Aldridge Grove community said they heard the collision and knew the driver but didn’t name him. Others speculated he was rushing to a medical emergency, but attempts to confirm the circumstances of the emergency flashers weren’t successful.

Authorities remained on the scene at 8:30 and had not retrieved the victim from his crumpled automobile.

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