Update: Utility worker airlifted to hospital after being struck by pickup in Rabun County

One person was airlifted to the hospital following a crash on GA 197 South in Rabun County on May 30, 2023. (Rabun County EMS Facebook)

Corrected information released by the Georgia State Patrol says a utility worker was seriously injured when a pickup truck ran into him as he worked alongside the highway in Rabun County.

The collision happened Tuesday afternoon, May 30, on GA 197 South at Shoreline Trail.

Troopers from Georgia State Patrol Post 7 in Toccoa investigated the crash. They say 44-year-old Matthew Wood of Tiger fell asleep at the wheel.

The Chevrolet Silverado that Wood was driving ran off the west shoulder of the highway. The truck’s passenger side struck a 27-year-old Windstream employee, Marquell Juan Manning, of Franklin, North Carolina. The truck also struck a Windstream power unit before running into a utility pole, troopers say.

The collision seriously injured Manning. Paramedics airlifted him to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville for treatment.

In a social media post to friends and colleagues on Thursday, Manning said he underwent ankle surgery.

“I’m real sore still, but other than that, I am good,” Manning wrote. “God was really watching over me. I’m lucky my crew did everything they could to save me, and I’m lucky the guy who hit me was an EMT and got out instantly and started helping me as well.”

The state patrol confirmed Wood is a volunteer Rabun County firefighter. He was not injured in the wreck. Troopers say charges are pending against Wood for failure to maintain lane.

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