Victims identified from two fatal accidents on I-85

Published 5:39 pm Monday, December 11, 2023

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Two people were killed in a multiple-collision accident that happened on I-85 South near exit 77, on Monday morning. The multiple-vehicle accident happened at approximately 6:30 a.m; Two other people sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Two separate accidents happened in a “chain reaction” according to a statement by the Lanett Police Department. Lanett Police, Lanett Fire and EMS, Chambers County 911, and Chambers County EMA, Alabama State Troopers, and the Alabama Department of Transportation responded to the multiple-vehicle accident.

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The initial collision involved two passenger vehicles that happened between mile markers 74 and 75. It resulted in the death of Byungock Shim, 40 of Auburn Alabama, and injuries to two others. One was life-flighted to Colombus and the other was taken to East Alabama Medical Center-Lanier with non-life-threatening injuries. 

This collision led to another around mile marker 77 involving two semi-tractor trailers, resulting in the death of Jonathon Bennett Kelly, 34 of Wadesboro, NC. Both Shim and Kelly were pronounced dead at the scene by the Chambers County Deputy Coroner, Levi Richardson. 

According to Lieutenant Asim Hicks of the Lanett Police, after the scene was secured and those involved got proper medical attention, the highway needed to be cleared of debris. One of the tractors had an open-top trailer carrying pebbles, which were scattered across I-85 after the accident. The entire section of I-85 was closed until the debris was cleared. The Department of Transportation helped with the clean-up. The lanes were reopened around 5:30 p.m..