Serious Injury in East Cobb Crash

A passenger is in critical condition following a two-vehicle accident at Johnson Ferry Road and Woodlawn Drive on Friday.

A Marietta man is in critical condition after the car in which he was riding slammed into a utility pole in a two-vehicle accident Friday at the intersection of Johnson Ferry Road and Woodlawn Drive.

Kyle Lysaght, 22, was airlifted by Life Flight helicopter to the Atlanta Medical Center, according to Cobb Police Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Police said Lysaght was a frontseat passenger in a gray 2007 Lexus heading southbound on Johnson Ferry shortly before 5 p.m. Friday.

As the vehicle approached the intersection, it was struck by a white 2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck turning left onto Woodlawn from northbound Johnson Ferry.

The Lexus then collided with a utility pole in a traffic island, seriously injuring Lysaght, Pierce said.

The driver of the Lexus, Matthew Baske, 22, of Alpharetta, and the driver of the Tacoma, Zeferino Trego, 49, of Kennesaw, were taken by ambulance to WellStar Kennestone Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to Pierce.

He said a backseat passenger in the Lexus, Eric Hellerstedt, 22, of Marietta, declined medical treatment at the scene.

Pierce said traffic signals in both directions of Johnson Ferry were green, meaning that vehicles attempting to turn must yield. But he said no charges have been filed thus far.

East Cobb Patch readers reported that the helicopter landed and took off at nearby Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, and that traffic at the intersection was blocked for several hours.

Other eyewitnesses said the two injured passengers in the Lexus had to be extricated by emergency crews.

Please return to East Cobb Patch for more updates.

Mark Smith March 16, 2013 at 07:20 PM
Until you have "personally" made this left turn at this intersection you can not have an educated conversation on what and why this accident happened. It takes atleast "4" times maybe even 5 times longer to clear oncoming traffic than at 99% of all other intersections. Not knowing this when starting your turn is so very dangerous. Not having a green turn signal at this intersection is a bad choice, in my opinion.
Kim Yowell March 16, 2013 at 07:28 PM
It's hard to judge how quickly the southbound cars are approaching and often a LOT of traffic coming south. I have made two 911 calls after witnessing the same kind of accident at this intersection within the past 10 years.
Kim Yowell March 16, 2013 at 07:30 PM
This intersection definitely needs a green left turn signal!!!!!
Kathi Tomcho March 16, 2013 at 07:57 PM
Absolutely. A turn signal is clearly needed. I didn't see the accident, but if the boys going southbound gunned it to make the yellow light then that also may have been a factor because the truck may have wrongly assumed that they were about to stop. The crash was so violent that the boys' Lexus must have been going fairly fast, in any event.
Jennifer Bales March 16, 2013 at 08:20 PM
The intersection definitely needs a turn signal. I have worked in the Woodlawn medical park at this intersection for 10 years and I always go down one more intersection to the one that has a turn signal. That many lanes of congested Friday afternoon traffic, no signal, and it is a very long intersection make it just too dangerous. The passenger was horribly hurt. We have all been praying for him.
Wendy Parker (Editor) March 16, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Thanks to reader Jackson Moody for the photos from the accident scene. We will update this story as soon as we learn more. I appreciate the comments on the hazards of this intersection.
Liam Lysaght March 16, 2013 at 08:44 PM
That was my cousin, Kyle
Patti Folio March 16, 2013 at 09:49 PM
Totally agree a turn signal is needed. My daughter had an accident there about 10 yrs ago, trying to make that left turn and misjudging the speed/time needed to clear the oncoming traffic. Luckily, no one was hurt. Ever since then, I never make a left there..
Jennifer Bales March 17, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Liam is your cousin Kyle okay??
Canadian Friend March 17, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Thoughts and prayers for Kyle from Oakville, Ontario where he played hockey for two years.
Lisa Hall March 17, 2013 at 03:28 AM
I was right there. I prayed the entire time (while helping ) that those boys were okay. It is a dangerous turn without a dedicated signal to turn left. I do it every morning with so much care. I'm relieved to hear the concern about the signal and hoping with this accident the county feels the need to be concerned also. It was not pretty.
jeremy lief March 17, 2013 at 12:39 PM
wait till theyve put another signal light on the hill between Robinson and Providence west bound.Its going to be a demolition derby on the 120.Whose in charge of urban planning in this area, they should be fired and held responsible for there shocking decisions,
Laura March 17, 2013 at 02:24 PM
That intersection needs serious revamping!! The number of wrecks is outrageous!! Include me in the "had a wreck at ridiculous intersection" club. They need to put a green arrow. Very simple, and won't break the bank, but could save lives and prevent injury.
Jeff A. Taylor March 17, 2013 at 02:50 PM
The solution is to ban left turns there. The angles just cannot work. There are multiple other ways to get to Woodlawn Pkwy and Woodlawn Dr from northbound Johnson Ferry.
Margaret Thomson March 17, 2013 at 07:34 PM
People drive so fast that it IS possible that one driver didn't see the other. It is a HUGE, dangerous intersection. I would never turn left there; I'd go farther north, then turn into the shopping center and go around. but then, I'm not 22 years old.
Allison Iwanowski March 17, 2013 at 08:01 PM
Thoughts and prayers from Montreal, QC - the home of Ben, who went to Kent School with Kyle.
David Smith March 17, 2013 at 08:39 PM
The solution is don't text, eat your breakfast, do your make up, eat your lunch, ignore red lights and generally be a non productive motoring member of East Cobb society and maybe some more innocent citizens can go about their daily lives secure in the knowledge that they do not face serious injury every time they venture onto the roads of East Cobb.
Lindsey GG March 17, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Prayers to all involved- life is precious. Regardless light or not, think about families dealing with this in their hearts.
Lindsey GG March 17, 2013 at 09:06 PM
I have had this on my heart all weekend as my son and I saw this after it happened How is your cousin? We have prayed continuously.
Kelly Wilkins March 18, 2013 at 12:37 PM
I am so sorry for all 4 men who were involved. We have been praying for y'all. I agree that that intersection is deceiving. I would love to have a turn arrow there.
Kelly Wilkins March 18, 2013 at 12:41 PM
By the way, we live very close by. My husband saw the scene after the crash but before the helicopter got there. We heard the helicopter land and take off again, and we prayed for y'all those times as well as when we first talked about the accident. Just so glad that y'all are alive and you will be okay with time.
Nicole McDougal March 18, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Does anyone know how Kyle is? I was at the scene and speaking with the driver until he went to the hospital. I actually helped to get him up and out through the sunroof.
Lindsey GG March 18, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Nicole- I saw we're the driver posted on FB- go to east Cobb snobs Facebook Lucky to have you help him- I am sure it was awful- I saw the aftermath - god bless you
Heather March 19, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Kyle is in rough shape. Out of ICU but with two broken femurs, a shattered pelvis, and ruptured bladder. It will be a very long recovery!
Michele B March 19, 2013 at 01:24 AM
Now we all need to contact Cobb DOT and demand a left turn arrow from NB Johnson Ferry to Woodlawn. Our neighborhood has complained and we were told there were not serious enough incidences to warrant one. With enough community outcry, maybe they will listen and put in the turn arrow. Call DOT.
Chris Vance March 21, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle.
Michele B March 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Continue to contact Cobb DOT and commissioner Bob Ott. We need turn arrows at all four parts of this intersection.
Misty S March 23, 2013 at 06:39 AM
I totally agree that the intersection needs a turn signal for northbound Johnson Ferry Rd. It is a big and dangerous intersection, especially if trying to turn left. I don't ever turn left there anymore. Tried it once and it was too difficult.
Kristen April 04, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Hi everyone- I work at northside urgent care- I responded to this awful accident and immediately contacted commuter dude from 11 alive. He responded quickly to us and aired this video. We are hoping to hear something in the next few weeks. My hope is that the cobb dot makes it a "turn on arrow only" left turn. http://www.11alive.com/News/Commuter_Dude/286566/326/Emergency-physician-calls-for-traffic-signal-changes-following-near-fatal-accident
Harold Huxley April 16, 2013 at 03:05 AM
I live 2 min away and witnessed the crash. It was terrifying and I feel bad that I didn't do anything.


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