A woman is dead and her 8-year-old son was in critical condition at an Atlanta hospital following a wreck Wednesday morning on Cleveland Highway near Clermont.
Before 9:30 a.m., Shelby Paige Stanfill, 27, of Lula, was traveling south on Cleveland Highway near Hub Head Road in her Kia Optima when she lost control of the car, crossed the center line and crashed into a Honda Odyssey traveling north and driven by Mai Moreno, 49, of Gainesville, according to Georgia State Patrol.
Stanfill died in the crash. Her 8-year-old son was in the back seat of the Kia and was transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Scottish Rite campus, according to state patrol, where he was in critical condition.
Todd Berry was sitting in his office at Berry Plumbing and Equipment when the vehicles crashed in front of the shop.
“It sounded like something exploded,” said Berry, his voice heavy. “We’ve got a fabrication shop that manufactures … equipment and stuff, and it sounded like a transformer exploded. They hit right in front of our shop and it knocked parts all the way up nearly to our door.”
He and other employees of the shop, including White County volunteer firefighter Brian Anthony, helped victims of the crash while emergency responders made their way to the scene.
Stanfill appeared to be dead by the time Berry, Anthony and others made it to their vehicles, Berry said.
“We knew she had passed away when we got there,” he said.
Berry said it was “raining pretty hard” when the wreck happened.
“Everybody who comes up and down through here is in a hurry,” Berry said. “The car was full of kids toys, and they were all over everywhere.”
Investigators with state patrol said Stanfill lost control for unknown reasons and crossed the double yellow line, rotating counter-clockwise, and her car was struck in the passenger side by the van.
Moreno was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville and is in stable condition.
The crash shut down Cleveland Highway for part of the morning, and traffic was diverted through downtown Clermont.
“People need to slow down,” Berry said, hanging up the phone.