Man in critical condition
Published 4:25 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001
By By BRIAN BLACKLEY
#An Atmore man is in critical condition in a Mobile hospital following a Monday night wreck in downtown Atmore.
James Michael Barnett, 43, of Atmore, was in a coma Tuesday afternoon, Atmore Police Department officials reported, after his maroon 1994 Chevrolet Blazer collided with a 1998 black van at the intersection of Main and Craig streets in downtown Atmore.
According to Atmore Police officer Barry Hurst who worked the accident, Barnett was traveling east on Craig Street when he collided with Ilsom Coley, driver of the van, who was traveling south on Main Street.
After impact, Hurst reported that Barnett's vehicle traveled 244 feet on South Main Street and collided with an Acura Integra driven by Janice Contreras. Contreras was uninjured but her passenger, Eva Smith, suffered broken ribs and was transported to Atmore Community Hospital.
Barnett's injuries were severe and he was airlifted to the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile where he remained in critical condition Tuesday afternoon. He was reportedly in a coma as a result of the collision, Hurst said.
According to Hurst, wet road conditions were likely to have contributed to the accident. Hurst indicated that seatbelts were not worn by the drivers involved in the primary collision. Hurst said he does not believe alcohol was involved in the accident that occurred around 7 p.m.
The intersection of Main and Craig streets is marked by a traffic light. Hurst said reports indicate the light was functioning properly at the time of the accident, making it possible that one driver could have run a red light.
The speed limits are 30 miles per hour on Craig Street and 45 miles per hour on Main Street. Hurst did not indicate whether either vehicle could have been speeding at the time of the accident.
Hurst said the police department is concerned about the condition of Barnett.