UPDATED 5:45 a.m., Jan. 2.
Georgia State Troopers have investigated more crashes during this New Year's holiday than last year, with injuries rising above New Year's 2012 levels, and almost as many deaths – six so far this year, compared to seven last year. The GSP investigated three of the fatal traffic accidents, with local agencies investigating the other three.
Troopers have investigated 585 accidents as of daybreak today, Jan. 1, which included 266 injuries and three deaths. During last year's entire 102-hour holiday, the Department of Public Safety investigated 296 accidents. Those accidents included 172 injuries and 7 deaths.
Deaths have been investigated by the following Troop locations and local agencies:
- GSP Athens
- Cobb County Police Department
- Macon Police Department
- GSP Madison
- GSP Valdosta
- Perry Police Department
The fatal crashes investigated by the Georgia State Patrol during the 2012-13 New Year's period were:
- Tuesday at 1:10 a.m. in Greene County: Desmond Leroy Hall, age 30, from Siloam was killed when he was struck by a vehicle as he walked with the flow of traffic in the travel lane of Georgia Highway 77. Alcohol is suspected as a contributing factor. The driver of the vehicle that struck Hall was charged with driving under the influence.
- Brian Allan Churchill, 29, from Jefferson was killed Monday morning around 11:50 a.m. in Jackson County when he lost control of his vehicle on Benton Road. The BMW left the roadway, struck a fence, overturned, and struck a utility pole and tree before coming to rest. Alcohol is not suspected as a contributing factor. A passenger in the vehicle was transported to Athens Regional for treatment.
- One person was killed and three others were injured Sunday night in a one-vehicle crash on I-75 in Lowndes County. Jake Dale Daughtrey, 22, from Adel was killed after he lost control of his vehicle, ran off the roadway, overcorrected, re-entered the travel lane and began overturning. Daughtrey was thrown from the vehicle and into oncoming traffic in the southbound lanes. Alcohol is not suspected in the crash and a seatbelt was not in use.
Statewide last year, law enforcement agencies reported 1,929 accidents with 716 inuries and 13 deaths. During holiday period patrols by troopers in 2011, 262 people were arrested for driving under the influence.
Colonel Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, said Georgia State Troopers are patrolling throughout the holiday period with enforcement emphasis on impaired drivers, unrestrained drivers and passengers, and drivers exceeding the speed limit.
The New Year’s holiday period began Friday at 6 p.m. and ends Tuesday night, Jan. 1, 2013. The holiday period is 102-hours long.