An elderly South Carolina man on Tuesday became the second person in nine days to be accused of entering I-75 going the wrong direction and causing a wreck in Monroe County.
John Hester, 75, of Piedmont, S.C. was going south on I-75 in his 2012 Ford F-150 on his way to Florida when he stopped at the I-75 rest area near mile marker 177 in Monroe County around 4 a.m., said Monroe County deputy John Thompson. Hester was irritated by the large number of truckers stopped at the rest area and decided to end his trip and return home to South Carolina, said Thompson. However, Thompson said Hester left the rest area the same way he entered it, going the wrong way on the exit ramp and then entering I-75 south going northbound.
He made it about seven miles before he sideswiped a Forsyth driver, Celwyn Morgan, who was headed south in a GMC Yukon, near mile marker 184 just south of Hwy. 18. The accident happened around 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday, June 4.
Deputies didn’t catch up with Hester until he had gone about two more miles. Thompson cited him for driving on the wrong side of the road and hit-and-run. Hester told Thompson he thought the other driver had hit him rather than him hitting the driver. Morgan’s vehicle only had minor damage.
Thompson had Hester’s car towed and took him to a local motel until his family could pick him up and take him home. Just nine days prior, on May 26, a LaGrange woman got onto I-75 south going north in Monroe County and caused a head-on collision. She was charged with DUI. That wreck came almost exactly three years after a Forsyth man got onto I-75 south going the wrong way and caused a head-on collision that killed him as well as a mother and daughter in the other vehicle.