Crashes killed 20 people on Georgia roads during the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. And that number could climb as the agency gathers more information from law enforcement around the state.
In 2020, 24 people died and 370 were injured during the same period, which ran from Wednesday evening through Sunday night. This year, even more people planned to travel, in part due to coronavirus vaccinations, according to the AAA motor group.
Among those deadly crashes, six were reported in metro Atlanta, including separate wrecks in DeKalb County and Henry County, the DPS said.
Late Wednesday, a 24-year-old man was killed when his vehicle was hit by another driver attempting to pass him in a no-passing zone, according to Henry County police. The driver died after being ejected when his vehicle overturned, police said.
The 22-year-old driver who investigators believe is responsible for the wreck was also injured, police said. A driver in a third vehicle, who was sideswiped during the incident, was also taken to a hospital. The crash remains under investigation.
Around 3 a.m. Thursday, a 22-year-old was killed in a single-car crash on I-285 East at Bouldercrest Road, according to DeKalb police. Investigators believe Jahmari Kelly lost control of his vehicle while attempting to change lanes, causing it to roll. Kelly died at the scene.
About six hours later, DeKalb police investigated another deadly crash on I-20 West near Panola Road. Investigators believe Desi C. Johnson Sr., 57, clipped the back of another vehicle while he tried to change lanes. Johnson’s vehicle then flipped and landed on top of the other car, police said. The driver of the second car was not injured, but Johnson died at the scene, according to police.
In Atlanta, a motorcyclist was killed early Saturday on I-85, police said. Officers responded to the wreck at 1:08 a.m. and found an unresponsive man lying in the northbound lanes at Cheshire Bridge Road, according to police. Jerrail Mickens died at the scene and his motorcycle was found several feet away, investigators said.
A second motorcyclist was killed Saturday afternoon in northeast Georgia, the online news site Habersham Now reported. Investigators believe 49-year-old William Pate of Seneca, South Carolina, ran his Harley-Davidson into a curb and overturned in Stephens County, according to the report.
In Middle Georgia, two people including a pedestrian were killed in separate crashes, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.
Shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday, a woman was killed when she lost control of her vehicle in the 4000 block of Pio Nono Avenue in Macon, according to investigators. Gloria Thomas, 65, of Macon, was traveling south when she drove off the road, hit a guard rail and went down an embankment, the sheriff’s office said. Thomas died at the scene. Her husband had minor injuries.
Saturday night, a 26-year-old man was struck by a vehicle in the 6000 block of Thomaston Road in Macon, according to investigators. That crash remains under investigation.
Floyd County police also investigated a deadly wreck. Troopers from posts in Dalton, Manchester, Rincon, Griffin, Blue Ridge, Washington, Thomasville, Dublin and Statesboro also investigated fatal crashes, according to the DPS.
Since 2014, 136 people have died in crashes on Georgia roads during the Thanksgiving holiday.
— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.