Mother dies in Friday morning crash

Published 12:26 pm Friday, April 1, 2011

A Bainbridge woman died in a wreck Friday morning as she was driving her two children to school, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The accident happened at about 7:40 a.m. on Johnny Freeman Road, about 16 miles north of West Bainbridge in Miller County.

Ashley Lynette Phillips, 24, of Bainbridge, was driving a 2000 Mercury Villager minivan south on Johnny Freeman Road, also known as Cooktown Road in Decatur County.

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Phillips was traveling through a curve when her minivan traveled off the road’s eastern shoulder and struck an embankment, said Cpl. John VanLandingham of the GSP’s Colquitt, Ga., post. The minivan vaulted into the air over a dirt lane, landed and then overturned on its side three times.

The minivan came to rest upside down facing the road. Phillips had been ejected through the driver’s side window and laid between the road and the minivan. Daughter Ericka Wynn, 5, had been ejected about 20 feet into a pasture, while her sister, Elaina Wynn, 7, laid near the minivan. None of them were wearing seat belts, Cpl. VanLandingham said.

Phillips passed away at the scene of the accident, the state trooper said.

Her youngest daughter, Ericka, a kindergarten student at Jones-Wheat, stated her back was hurting and was taken to Miller County Hospital.

Elaina, a first-grader at Jones-Wheat, stated her chest, neck and head were hurting and possibly had a broken jaw, VanLandingham said. She was taken to a hospital in Dothan, Ala.

The father of Phillips’ children is Brandon Wynn, an employee of the City of Bainbridge’s Leisure Services Division, City Manager Chris Hobby said. According to Hobby, Wynn was already at work when the accident happened. It was not immediately clear what the current nature of Phillips and Wynn’s relationship was.

Hobby said city employees’ thoughts and prayers were with Wynn and Phillips’ families.

“We’ve let him know that we’re here for him if he needs us,” Hobby said.

Dr. Larry Clark, principal of Jones-Wheat Elementary, said he understood the Wynn girls had been coming from Colquitt to school.

“They are good students and really good kids,” Clark said. “They are precious little girls.”

Note: While the Georgia State Patrol did not identify the daughters by name, that information was provided by Larry Clark, principal at Jones-Wheat Elementary School, and used in conjunction with the state trooper’s account of the accident.