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May 16, 2014

Woman killed in wreck on bypass

— When Darrel Long saw a woman trapped in her car, with the steering panel pushed onto her, he knew there was no way he could get her out.

Nancy Elizabeth Paris, 53, of Calhoun, died in the crash. She was driving a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu north on the South Bypass near Corporate Drive when she crossed into oncoming traffic and was struck by a Bobtail commercial vehicle traveling south, according to a report from the Georgia State Patrol. The commercial vehicle was driven by Barry Daniel Jackson, 36, of Dalton. He was not injured.

Long said he talked to Paris in a calm voice through the busted driver’s side window, and he never left her side.

“I feel privileged to the fact that — that I got to talk to her,” he said, his voice breaking. “And that somebody was with her. Nobody should have to die by themselves.”

Long didn’t witness the crash, but came up on it soon after it occurred. He said he couldn’t tell how it happened, but the driver’s side had “caved in.” Paris had her seat belt on, he said.

“I stood there and talked to the lady and told her it was going to be all right until she quit breathing,” Long said.

He said he was disappointed that some people passing by were not as calm as he thought they should be at the scene of the wreck.

“If people can’t stay calm, they should stay in the car,” Long said. “Bless her heart. She was trapped in her car. She needed to hear she was OK and everything was going to be OK. ... You could see her last facial expression was that she was calmed down and out of a panic mode.”

The state patrol’s report was not complete Thursday evening. It did not mention any underlying causes of why Paris crossed into oncoming traffic.

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