Arrested, according to Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver, was Melvin Bradford Heflin, 49.
Heflin, Shaver said, was traveling east in the westbound lane and struck a vehicle occupied by Shannon Owen, 29, of Gadsden, and her two passengers, one of which was an 11 month old baby. Owen said she swerved into an open lane to avoid Heflin, but he aimed his vehicle back into her path. She manuvered again to avoid front impact. Helfin struck Owen’s vehicle on the left rear side causing it to spin before coming to a stop on the shoulder of the road.
Heflin, Shaver said, continued driving the wrong way and struck another vehicle head-on which was driven by Jackie Dale Bramlett, 59, of Piedmont. Heflin’s vehicle caught fire. Passersby stopped to rescue Heflin from the burning vehicle. Witnesses reported Helfin making suicidal statements. Heflin was transported to Gadsden Regional Medical Center and was later released with no major physical injuries.
Owen and her passengers were treated and released from the scene. Bramlett was transported to Gadsden Regional and later flown to UAB for treatment of his injuries, Shaver said.