Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Killer on the Road...
Busy days for ED's, trauma surgeons, and unfortunately coroners in Georgia this past weekend. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:Traffic deaths set record for holiday
This was the deadliest Memorial Day weekend on Georgia roads since authorities began keeping track 36 years ago.

By Monday evening, 35 traffic deaths had been reported to the Georgia State Patrol, breaking the Memorial Day weekend record of 27 set in 1969, when record-keeping began.

The dead included four members of an Atlanta family, a 15-year-old girl and three Loganville men.

Rain-slicked roads, speed, alcohol and failure to wear seat belts contributed to the death toll for the weekend, which began at 6 p.m. Friday.

Fourteen traffic deaths occurred in metro Atlanta, including two Monday afternoon in Cherokee County, authorities said.

In Gwinnett County, a 15-year-old girl was killed early Monday when the car driven by her 16-year-old brother ran off the road near Lawrenceville. The boy and a 13-year-old sister survived. Both were wearing seat belts, police said. However, the sister who died was not buckled in, said Gwinnett police Cpl. Darren Moloney.

Authorities did not release the names of the teenagers but said the boy had been speeding.

Speed was also blamed for a death about eight hours later in DeKalb County. The driver lost control on Flakes Mill Road and crossed into a lane of oncoming traffic, said DeKalb police Officer Cory Hughes. A passenger in the car, 29-year-old Dayonne Wilson of Ellenwood, was killed.

Several wrecks involved multiple fatalities. Four people, all members of the same Atlanta family, were killed Sunday morning when their vehicle struck a tree in Greene County. Michael Carter, 35, his wife, Almeda Rawlings, and two other family members were returning from Myrtle Beach, S.C., when their car ran off I-20 at 6:55 a.m., said county Coroner Steve McCommons.

Three men died Saturday afternoon in Loganville when their pickup truck ran off the road and struck a tree, said Walton County Coroner Craig League.

In the week leading up to Memorial Day, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety filled the airwaves with messages aimed at persuading people to buckle their seat belts. The messages also warned that troopers would be watching for speeding drivers.

"I don't know if it didn't work this year or whether luck was on their side in past years," said Trooper Larry Schnall, a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol. "The most common response that I hear from people is that they feel like it won't happen to them."

Every holiday weekend, the patrol issues traffic wreck predictions to encourage people to drive safely. For this Memorial Day period, the agency had predicted 2,550 wrecks, 650 injuries and 17 deaths.

By the end of the holiday period, 2,726 wrecks had been reported, resulting in 830 injuries and 35 deaths.

Wear your seatbelts!!!
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