COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A 67-year-old woman died in a fiery head-on collision on J.R. Allen Parkway in Columbus.
The victim have been identified as Peggy Jean Williams.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan confirmed Williams was driving eastbound in the westbound lane after entering near River Road toward Bradley Park around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
She collided head-on with a semi-tractor trailer, sending her car up in flames. The crash shutdown the westbound lanes near River Road for several hours. Those lanes have since been reopened.
Darryl Irvin with Georgia State Patrol in Manchester, GA said drivers need to be careful when they get on and off the interstate and the ramps.
"If you find yourself going the wrong way, just pull over to the paved sidewalk or the emergency lane immediately," Irvin said. "Pull over to an area that's wide enough and paved for you to safely get your entire vehicle out of the roadway. If it's night time or low light conditions, turn your headlights off but leave your marker lights on the oncoming traffic is not blinded by your headlights."
Irvin does not recommend drivers trying to move onto the right lane by themselves.
"The entrance ramp or exit ramp is an acceleration or de-acceleration zone," Irvin said. "You can potentially cause serious injuries or death to yourself or to the other motorists in the public. Call 911 once you pull over, and your local law enforcement will be happy to help. Many might be worried about officers citing them, but I'm sure they would come out and help you rather than to ticket you in times of emergencies."
Irvin also said people need to look out for reflectors on the road. If drivers see red, it means they are going in the wrong direction or they are driving in the wrong lane. Irvin said people need to pull over and make sure they call the police to get back on the right lane. People also need to look out for signs that read "DO NOT ENTER" or "WRONG WAY." Irvin said people also need to pay attention and look at yellow double lines to make sure they are on two way traffic.
David Arrington with the city of Columbus said a few drivers within the last year complained about the intersection at River Road and J.R. Allen Parkway. The drivers also asked the city to install traffic signals, but Arrington explained a warrant study was done on the intersection in the past.
The intersection for west bound traffic exiting onto River Road did not meet the signal warrants as required by Department of Transportation.
Bryan says he will attempt to draw blood to send for a toxicology test.
Those tests will be set to the GBI and the results could take four to six months. He says her body will not be sent for autopsy.