A lot Filled with 27 wrecked vehicles...
Investigators hoping they hold answers about what happened Wednesday morning when a fiery pileup killed four people.
Thanks for joining us.
I'm Frank Malloy.
And I'm Leah Johnson.
Tonight... All 27 cars involved in Wednesday morning's accident are collected in a lot at the Georgia State Patrol in Dublin...
They're now evidence in the crash investigation.
It was actually a series of accidents on I-16 in Laurens County.
Based on what witnesses told the GSP... they happened in a span of about a minute.
Some of the cars were destroyed... like a tanker truck that exploded sometime in the middle of that sequence of events.
Others just had scrapes and dents.
Nonetheless...they're all here... and investigators hope looking at the damage will help them understand more.
So far... They haven't pinned down a definitive timeline of events...
But Sergeant Ken Deloach with the State Patrol says crews with the Department of Transportation were on their way to I-16 to post warning signs for heavy fog... When the call came in.
< We've determined, and again, everything's still under investigation, but that we've determined, there's either nine or ten crashes that's happened as a result of the smoke or fog and there were several crashes that actually happened west of the tanker, so the tanker truck wreck actually happened in the middle of this long series of events. This is a joint investigation that's going to take months and months to piece everything together... There are witnesses we haven't even spoken to, so a crash of this magnitude could take anywhere from 6 to 8 months or a year.. >
the other arm of that investigation... Continued today on the highway itself.
Rainy weather halted the work of State Patrol and Department of Transportation repair crews yesterday.
Today... The weather cooperated with crews who came out to survey everything from skid marks on the road to smaller pieces of leftover debris.
Some paving also started... Repairing part of the road that was incinerated by the heat of the tanker fire.
A two-mile stretch of that right-hand lane will be closed at least through the weekend.
We'll keep you posted on the work... and on the investigation.
We're also learning more tonight...about two of those who died in the accident.
Clayton and Josephine Warnock had been married twenty years...and they lived in Dublin.
Between the two of them... Josephine...and Clayton... Had six children and many grandchildren.
That's according to Josephine's daughter, Catherine Baggett.
She said they were traveling to Atlanta...where Mr. Warnock had a doctor's appointment...when the crash happened.
Josephine Warnock... Was a retired homemaker... Originally from Texas her daughter says.
And Clayton...a Laurens County native...who retired from the Forstmann textile mill.
The two attended the Church of God in Dublin...and Catherine Baggett told us...she takes peace in knowing her mother and step-father were Christians.
Two other people died in the chain-reaction wrecks.
FedEx confirmed Thursday that one of them, Michael Smith of Covington, was driving a company truck driver for them.
And the Associated Press reported that Joel Moore of Effingham County worked for International Paper and was headed to a meeting.
In other news tonight... Bibb schools superintendent Romain Dallemand continues to insist that he intends to stay on as superintendent.
He said so in response to a blog post that he's in the running to head up Florida A&M University.
Candace Adorka talked with him today about that and more.
The blog that started this rumor is called Rattler Nation.
It reads... "romain Dallemand's name is being pushed as a possibility for FAMU presidency." The blogger doesn't cite any sources, and has not yet ressponded to our inquiries. Romain Dallemand told me this afternoon he was extremely surprised and shocked when he heard about the blog post.
<it's the first time i've heard of someone being considered for the job without applying for it so I'm as surprised as everybody else. And let me say this, I said this before, and I'm going to say it again, I am committed to the students in this community, I am here to finish the work that I started, and I am here to finish the term of my contract. I did not apply and will not apply for FAMU.>
<I don't think they ever do that, offering a job to someone without applying for it, and let me tell you again, If they offer me the presidency position they have in FAM-U, the answer is no because I am not interested in a position at FAM-U. I want to finish the work that I started here.>
The superintendent gave me that comment in between meetings with principals, assistant principals, directors and central office staff. He says he wanted to address reports that he committed the district to millions of dollars without the school board's knowledge.
<the meeting today is to share facts with school staff and administrators. There's been a lot of misinformation, a lot of misleading information spreading all over the place and I want for my staff members to know the truth and we're giving them the facts.>
The meetings were closed to the media, but Dallemand gave district employees these these documents that help outline the school district's relationship with the macon promise neighborhood initiative.
When I asked what he would be discussing in the meetings, Dallemand stressed these points
-- that Macon Promise Neighborhood is not a school district initiative-- Mercer University guides the initiative...
...and the school district is one of 32 partners.
-- As a partner, the district committed to 19-point-3 million dollars over the next decade.
Almost half of that is in-kind contributions. That means school programs that are already in place....that will count toward their share.
-- Another 5-point-75 million will pay to lease a former school building where promise neighborhood plans to house programs.
Dallemand says the school board directed him and the school board president to enter that agreement. He says it's spelled out in a resolution the board approved on June 27th.
However, last week, school board member Susan Sipe testified in a superior court hearing that she didn't know about the lease agreement before it was signed.
The hearing was on a lawsuit where the district's former CFO is asking a judge to stop all payments in connection with the lease.
We're still waiting to hear back from the judge.
Candace Adorka, 13 wmaz eyewitness nes
Dallemand's contract is at the center of another lawsuit.
The plaintiff is a Lizella man... who claims the contract the superintendent signed ...is different than the one that the board voted on.
Dallemand's contract would keep him at the helm of Bibb County schools for three more years.
More local news ahead on Eyewitness News at Eleven.. Plus... It's a Friday Night... and that means Full Court Press!
From Howard's bid to put a stop to Westside's regular season region run...
To the Lady Raiders battling the Lady Bulldogs as Mary persons tires to keep its teeth in their spot at the top of Region 2 quad-A...we've got it all...ahead in about 15 minutes.
A Bibb County man... convicted of raping a nanny in a north Macon home almost five years ago...wants a new trial.
In May 2011...48-year-old Rudolph Valentino Smith was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences plus 20 additional years... for the 2008 crime.
Today... he was in court.... where his defense attorney asked a Judge to grant him a continuance.
Rocky Adams... who's a public defender says...he wasn't able to get the funding needed to bring a DNA expert to court.
The judge said both sides have two weeks to send in written arguments for or against a new trial for Smith.
< Rocky Adams, Smith's Defense Attorney: The state's evidence relied very highly on a DNA test that linked my client to the crime and our DNA expert was going to come in and point out some of the flaws and the errors that were wrong with that DNA >
According to the Bibb County Sheriff's office... the victim was a nanny...and Smith worked for a company that cleaned the home.
Investigators say.he asked the woman if he could come inside to use the phone.
When she let him in... that's when deputies say... he attacked and threatened to kill her.
A report conducted two years ago by the Southern Center for Human Rights determined that Georgia's public defenders have huge caseloads... that lead to "assembly-line justice."
And that those attorneys lacked the resources to investigate cases properly.
Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman team up in a comedy that will have you checking your bank statements when you leave the theater.
That's in one of this weekend's new releases.
A woman... Looking for some help from her psychiatrist...is prescribed a new drug.
But the pills have dangerous effects that's aren't on the label...
"Side effects" is rated R.
Or... If you're in the mood for some laughs..."identity Thief" takes a turn at an all-too-common problem.
Jason Bateman is Sandy Patterson...a businessman who finds out someone else is using his identity.
When authorities say their hands are tied, he has to take matters into his own hands...and finds Melissa McCarthy... of "mike and Molly" and "bridesmaids" fame...at the other end of his bank statement.
"identity Thief"...also rated R...so it's a good weekend to call that babysitter and start making some plans.
But first, if you're looking for something a little darker, check out "side Effects".
Grammy organizers have a message for celebrities coming to Sunday's awards: cover up!
C-B-S is cracking down on too much skin.
Producers sent out a memo Tuesday night to nominees and performers.
It asked all those appearing on stage to be modest... Not too short...not too low...you get the gist.
And those bad words on clothing...also a no-no.
The Grammy Awards will air on 13WMAZ Sunday at 8 p-m Eastern.