Wet Roads: Fatal traffic accident in Opelika

Published: Mar. 15, 2009 at 8:43 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM EDT
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By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | e-mail

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - With water on the roadways, it makes for slippery driving conditions, and wet roads could be to blame for a deadly car crash in Lee County.

A little after 11:30 Central time, Alabama State Troopers responded to a deadly car accident in Opelika.

A 1996 Nissan was traveling southbound on Interstate 85 and wrecked at the Opelika Exit 66. According to the accident report, the car slid off the road, overturned and hit a tree.

Inside the car, Troopers found the driver, 58 year old Hillary Dennis, 19 year old Calvin Dennis and 20 year old Willie Pitts. Hillary and Calvin Dennis were treated for injuries, but 20 year old Pitts, wasn't as fortunate. He died early Sunday morning.

The accident remains under investigation by the Lee County Coroner's Office and the Opelika Post of the Alabama State Troopers.


Statement from Lee County Coroner Bill Harris:

"Three Florida men received serious injuries and had to be extricated from the vehicle with the Jaws of Life.  Twenty year old Willie Pitts, 58 year old Hilary Borley Dennis and 18 year old Calvin Francis Dennis, all of Tallahassee, Florida were transported to East Alabama Medical Center with serious injuries.  Pitts, who was in the process of being transferred to University Hospital-Birmingham, went into cardiac arrest in the ER and was unable to be revived. He was pronounced dead in the ER at 4:19 AM. He died from multiple blunt force injuries to his chest and head. Hilary Dennis and Calvin Dennis were both admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital in serious condition.

The Dennis's are father and son. They and Pitts were traveling to Tallahassee from Carrollton, Georgia. Both Calvin Dennis and Pitts were students at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton.  Both were freshmen on the football team.  Reports indicate that the Dennis vehicle was traveling south on I-85 when he apparently hydroplaned on the wet highway and lost control, spinning into the ditch. It was raining at the time of the accident. No alcohol was involved in the accident and no charges are expected to be filed in the incident. The accident remains under investigation by the Lee County Coroner's Office and the Opelika Post of the Alabama State Troopers."