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4 hurt, including tot, in head-on wreck on Sixth Avenue S.E.

By Seth Burkett · 340-2355

A head-on collision injured four people, including a baby, on Sixth Avenue Southeast on Friday evening.

Police at the scene of the 5:45 p.m. crash near Cloverleaf Dodge said they were not yet sure what caused a southbound pickup to veer into the northbound lanes, where it collided with a car carrying an Indiana couple.

The driver of the pickup, Jefferson Scott, age and address unavailable, and his 1-year-old female passenger were taken to Huntsville Hospital in separate medical helicopters.

Lt. Frank DeButy, a police spokesman, said traffic investigators believe that though the baby was in a child safety seat, the seat was not properly secured at the time of the wreck.

A hospital spokeswoman said Scott remained in critical condition in the surgical intensive care unit late Friday.

The baby remained in stable condition, police said.

The occupants of the car,
driver Kevin O’Callahan, 58, and passenger Paula Cox, 66, both of Indianapolis, were taken to Decatur General Hospital by ambulance.

Cox was transferred by helicopter to Huntsville Hospital, where she remained in stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

A nurse supervisor at Decatur General Hospital said O’Callahan was being treated in the emergency room. He was listed in stable condition.

Cox’s brother, Steve Crowder of Moreno Valley, Calif., said family members were traveling in a caravan from a local hotel to eat at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. The vacationing group had stopped for the night in Decatur on its way to Gulf Shores.

“We always stop in Decatur and go to Big Bob’s,” he said.

Crowder said he was driving a sport utility vehicle in front of Cox and O’Callahan’s car. Another sibling, Jerry Barnett of Indianapolis, traveled behind the two in a third vehicle.

Crowder said he saw the
driver of a pickup begin to leave the inside southbound lane up ahead.

“Starting down by the Taco Bell, he darted towards us,” Cox said. “He came so close, you couldn’t put a sheet of paper between his truck and my SUV. We swerved to miss him, and he ran into their lane head on at a very high rate of speed.

“I’ve never seen anything like that. He just came right at us,” he said.

“If he hadn’t hit my brother-in-law, he’d of hit me head-on,” said Barnett.

DeButy said investigators do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. The wreck remained under investigation.

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