Emergency lights flash through the darkness of a horrific collision. “It was a very difficult scene,” says Summerdale Police Chief Jimmy Davis.
20-year-old Sandy Hadley of Seminole and 18-year-old Sarah Williams of Theodore were killed. What’s left of their 2011 Nissan 370Z unrecognizable on the back of a tow truck.
Another tow truck carries a Chevy Tahoe ripped apart when the sports car shoots through the intersection never touching the brakes. A father and 3-year old child from Jackson, Mississippi were shaken but survived.
County Road 36 is a country, two-lane road that intersects with the Baldwin Beach Express. That’s four lanes of traffic plus a median. When Hadley blew through the stop sign investigators say he was easily going over a hundred miles an hour.
“There was never a pursuit or anything he was just trying to catch up.” Chief Davis says one of his officers spotted Hadley speeding moments earlier on Highway 59. “You can see on camera where a vehicle turns right onto county road 36 then accelerates at an extremely high rate of speed.”
The officer turns on his lights and sirens but never gets close enough to get a tag number. “The officer proceeds down the roadway with his siren and lights going, giving a description of the vehicle. He backs off and slows down and he comes over the hill towards the Beach Express where the accident has already taken place.”
Deep gouges in the ground outline the track of the Nissan as it flipped end over end for more than 300 feet. “It could have been a lot worse” but with two lives over, this was bad enough.
Summerdale police are conducting an internal review of policy and how their officer reacted. So far, Chief Davis says it appears he followed the proper protocol.