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THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 2007
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Woman dies in Ala. 20 wreck
Passenger car hits 18-wheeler; girl, 9, is critically injured

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com ∑ 340-2355

HILLSBORO — A wreck on Alabama 20 killed a Town Creek woman and critically injured her 9-year-old passenger Wednesday afternoon.

Driver Carolyn Martin Oliver, 75, died at the scene after her car collided with a tractor-trailer about a half mile east of Lawrence County 400 shortly after 5 p.m., said Lawrence County Coroner Micah Coffey.

ďThe car had pulled out of a service station, and a westbound Pilgrimís Pride 18-wheeler hit it right in the door,Ē Coffey said.

ďI donít know which direction she was intending to travel, but she pulled out straight in front of the tractor-trailer.Ē

Coffey said the impact threw the vehicle across the median into the eastbound lanes.

Hillsboro firefighters apparently cut the roof from the vehicle to free Oliverís passenger, who was flown to Huntsville Hospital by a MedFlight helicopter, Coffey said.

Great-granddaughter

State troopers identified the girl as Kailyn Bayle Merrell, 9, of Town Creek. Coffey said it was his understanding that the child was Oliverís great-granddaughter.

Merrell remained in critical condition at Huntsville Hospitalís pediatric intensive care unit late Wednesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Jerry Don Wise, 59, of Athens was uninjured, troopers said.

State troopers said the wreck remains under investigation.

Jackson Memory Funeral Home in Town Creek will announce arrangements for Oliver.

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