A two-vehicle accident involving a van and an 18-wheeler, claimed the life of a Georgia man around mid-day Wednesday on Highway 278 near County Road 111.
The collision – involving a 2008 Ford and a 2003 Freightliner – took place at 12:25pm close to the Cherokee/Calhoun County line, and caused both vehicles to catch fire and completely burn. According to Cherokee County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton, the victim – who has been identified as 65 year old David London Cranford of Marietta, Georgia, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Cranford was ejected from his van when it exploded upon impact after colliding with the 18 wheeler; he was reportedly returning home from his aunt’s funeral in Etowah County and it is believed that he suffered a medical emergency shortly before the crash.
That accident caused the roadway to be shut down for approximately six and a half hours – with Piedmont Rescue, Spring Garden and Piedmont firefighters, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Alabama State Troopers and others responding.
The Coroner’s Office and Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate.