“Supposedly, a vehicle emerged from the median. She swerved to miss it and ran off the road right before you get to that guard rail,” said Walker County Coroner J.C. Poe about Elizabeth Carol Brandon, 36, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Highway 78 near the Warrior River Bridge in Argo.
Three of Brandon’s children — ages 1, 7 and 8 — who were in the car when the wreck occurred, were transported to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. One child was airlifted to the hospital.
Cpl. Steven Smith, a spokesperson for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said none of the children’s injuries are life threatening. However, he said one child received serious facial injuries.
Poe said Brandon’s vehicle, a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, went down a steep embankment, overturned and struck a tree.
“There’s a huge gorge down there,” said Poe, who believes Brandon died instantly.
Poe said authorities learned about the other vehicle, a silver Ford Taurus, from witnesses who saw the wreck that ocurred at approximately 3:15 p.m.
Now, authorities are seeking other witnesses of the incident, including a witness who gave the tag number of the suspect’s vehicle to a firefighter, but left before investigators could interview him.
“We really need that witness who gave the tag number to the fire department to please contact us,” said Smith, who can be reached at 205-322-4691. He added investigators also would like to speak with anyone else with knowledge about the crash. The officials are also seeking anyone who saw a silver Ford Taurus in the vicinity of the wreck Thursday afternoon.
“We are asking for the public’s help in this case,” said Smith. “These three kids lost their mother and one of them is going to be pretty disfigured from it, so we defintely want to make sure this person is found who potentially caused this crash.”
Smith declined to discuss the possible charges the suspected motorist may face.
“It’s still too early for that,” he said.
Smith added he believes the wreck could have been more tragic had the car gone into the river rather than being stopped by a tree.
“If the vehicle had made into the water, they probably would have lost the whole family,” he said.
Because State Troopers are still investigating the circumstances of this crash, an autopsy will be performed on Brandon.
“It’s just part of the investigation,” Smith said about the mandatory procedure.