Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Submitted photo.

Photo courtesy of Kristy Anthony Rodriguez.
Wreck Sends One to Hospital and One to Jail
By Editor Becky Watts

MEANSVILLE - [Scroll down for update from 10.16.17.] Deputies from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office responded to a one vehicle accident on Highway 109 East near McCard Lake Road on October 10, 2017 around 4:54 p.m. The driver of the vehicle suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Atlanta.

“The initial scene investigation appears that the driver had over corrected after veering into the wrong lane of travel and left the roadway striking a ditch that caused the vehicle to rollover,” the Sheriff’s Office advised by social media yesterday afternoon.

The name of the person in the accident was not released at that time pending family notification, but it was released this morning when Pike County Times asked Major David Neal for more information about the wreck.

Rebecca Buchanan, age 35, from Barnesville was driving a Chrysler Pacifica and was life-flighted to Grady Hospital for treatment. No further information is available regarding the wreck investigation. However, 56 year old Rick Rickerson, a person who responded to the scene of the accident, was arrested for obstruction by a Georgia State Patrol Officer after Ms. Buchanan was taken to Grady Hospital for treatment.

Sgt. Scott Jeter of the Georgia State Patrol was traveling home when he came upon the scene of the crash yesterday afternoon. He advised that a truck was parked in the middle of the eastbound lane when he came upon the scene. Sgt. Jeter said that he pulled his unmarked car equipped with emergency blue lights behind the truck and turned on his blue lights for safety purposes.

As he heard sirens approaching the scene, he asked people on the scene to find out who the truck belonged to. Sgt. Jeter said that he then asked Mr. Rickerson to move his truck for easier access for emergency vehicles. He advised that Mr. Rickerson refused to move the vehicle despite repeated requests.

Sgt. Jeter advised that he waited until the injured driver was removed from the scene by emergency personnel and then attempted to speak with Mr. Rickerson again. “He was not willing to listen to reason,” he said. Sgt. Jeter said that Mr. Rickerson was belligerent and refused to comply with repeated requests to remove his vehicle.

Sgt. Jeter arrested Mr. Rickerson for obstruction.

When asked whether Mr. Rickerson was rendering aid to the injured driver when he was asked to move his vehicle, Sgt. Jeter stressed that Mr. Rickerson was a bystander and that he was not actively rendering aid to Ms. Buchanan when he was asked to move his truck from the roadway.

Mr. Rickerson bonded out of the Pike County Jail this morning on a charge of obstruction. The bond was $2,400.

Update 10.16.17

Pike County Times has reported on the information that was available on this incident up through this time. On October 16, 2017, Pike County Times was contacted by Kristy Anthony Rodriguez. She gave me additional information for this article because she was the 4th person on the scene.

“The first 3 people all witnessed the accident Rick Rickerson, Emily Meadows, and an unknown older gentleman,” she said. “I stopped just as they approached the car. I cannot imagine how she [Rebecca Buchanan, the driver of the vehicle] would have had a chance had Rick not been there.”

She advised that Rick was on the phone with 911 requesting additional backup because of her size, Life Flight because of the extent of her injuries and alerting them that she was trapped. Kristy said that she was not breathing and that Rick kept saying they needed up open up her airways.

“Having my kids by the road I stepped away at times but I never saw him leave her side until after he assisted with moving her from the car onto the stretcher.” She said that he rotated with the other two witnesses holding her head and shoulder up to keep her airway open and to keep her from choking on her blood until she was moved to the stretcher.

Kristy said that all of this happened before the first emergency response vehicles got there. “Had Rick not been there and known how to maneuver the doors, I don't know how they could have helped her to breathe.”

Kristy contacted Pike County Times told me by email, "I don't know where the facts came from [referencing the Pike County Times article], but I'm so sad for him to be painted in that light. He was just doing what he trained to do but he was heroic. I hope to see the charges against him dropped."

When asked if she witnessed Sgt. Jeter asking Mr. Rickerson to move his vehicle, Kristy advised that she did not witness the altercations that were previously reported. She only heard Sgt. Jeter asking people if they were witnesses.

The photo at the top right of the page is courtesy of Kristy Anthony Rodriguez.

Click here to read the final article with the follow up from the DA's Office where this case will not be prosecuted. Readers can access a copy of the GPS incident report here.

Updated 10.16.17