Prescription drugs may be factor in crash, officials say
by Megan Thornton
January 25, 2013 12:03 AM | 5947 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Prescription drugs could have been a factor in a three-car accident Thursday that left one woman seriously injured, according to authorities.

The driver of the car deputies believe caused the accident, which also involved a fire truck, had been cited just the day before the accident when he hit a mailbox in a Hickory Flat neighborhood, according to police reports.

Cherokee Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to Thursday’s accident near Newt Fowler Lane at about 12:11 p.m., Lt. Jay Baker with Cherokee Sheriff’s Office said.

Preliminary findings indicate Shayla Croft, 20, of Canton, was traveling westbound on Hickory Flat Highway and stopped to make a left turn.

Ronald Clanton, 36, of Canton, also traveling west on Hickory Flat Highway, then struck Croft’s vehicle from behind, Baker said.

“The collision forced Croft’s Honda Accord into the east-bound lane where it was struck by the fire truck traveling the other direction,” Baker said.

Baker said the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office Traffic Enforcement Unit is investigating the accident and no charges have been filed at this time.

“There is a possibility that prescription drugs were a contributing factor in today’s accident but that will not be confirmed until toxicology reports are concluded,” Baker said. “In yesterday’s incident no blood was taken. He (Clanton) was issued a citation and released. At that time there was no indication he was under the influence of anything.”

Following Thursday’s accident, Croft was taken by helicopter to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Clanton was transported to Northside-Cherokee Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

None of the firefighters were injured.

According to an incident report with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, Clanton was cited Wednesday for hitting a mailbox on the 1000 block of Avery Creek Drive.

A witness who lives next door said the driver never hit the breaks when he came in contact with the mailbox. Clanton told deputies on the scene he believed he had just hit the curb after swerving to avoid hitting a child, but the witness said there were no children in the area at the time.

The reporting officer said the concrete and mailbox had been completely knocked out of the ground, according to the report.

Clanton was given a citation that charged him with striking a fixed object and failure to maintain lane.

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