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Winder man was victim in Friday wreck on I-85
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Georgia State Patrol officials have identified a Winder husband and father as the victim of an accident on Interstate 85 near the Dry Pond exit 140.

Robert McIlwain, 41, died Friday from injuries received in an early morning accident. McIlwain was traveling south on I-85 and stopping for slowed traffic when his 2008 Honda CR-V was struck by a tractor trailer being driven by 62-year-old Thomas Terry of Conyers.

"(Terry) failed to notice the slow moving traffic and entered the east shoulder of the roadway, striking the guardrail before striking (McIlwain’s vehicle)," said Donna Garrett, a state patrol operator.

"After the impact, (McIlwain’s vehicle) entered into the path of (another tractor trailer) and then came to rest on its roof facing the north."

According to Garrett, the state patrol was notified of the accident at 3:20 a.m. and was on the scene by 4:08 a.m.

After striking the Honda, Terry went on to rear-end a 2004 Dodge Dakota being driven by 24-year-old Brandon Barner of Commerce before overturning in the grassy median.

After being rear-ended, Barner’s vehicle, which also carried a passenger, then struck the rear of a tractor trailer being driven by 48-year-old Don Johnson of Norman Park.

One of the tractor trailers involved in the accident was carrying potassium hydroxide, a chemical used to make bleach. Although none of the material spilled during the accident, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and a specialized clean-up crew had to be called in because potassium hydroxide is considered hazardous. The southbound lanes of I-85 near the accident site were closed until noon Friday while the scene was cleared.

In addition to the one fatality, state patrol officials report that four other seriously injured victims, including Terry, were taken by ambulances to area hospitals.

"The last I heard, Terry was in critical condition," Garrett said.

According to an obituary, McIlwain’s funeral was held Tuesday at the Tom M. Wages Lawrenceville Chapel. He is survived by a number of relatives, including wife Kristie McIlwain and daughters Sophia and Morgan McIlwain.

The accident is being investigated by the state patrol to determine if any charges will be filed.

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