At least 16 killed on Georgia roads over Independence Day weekend

Two others drowned in state waters, officials said

Another holiday weekend has proved deadly on Georgia roads and waterways. At least 16 people were killed in crashes through Sunday night, the Georgia State Patrol said. Several happened in the Atlanta area.

That tally is up from 13 deaths during last year’s Independence Day holiday. Crashes killed 20 over the Memorial Day weekend, according to the State Patrol.

“The Fourth may be over, but a lot of traveling is still happening,” the State Patrol posted in a social media message. “Plan your route, buckle up and pack your patience.”

On Monday evening, a driver stopped for speeding was found to be driving at more than four times the legal limit for alcohol, the State Patrol said.

“There is no excuse for risking your life or those of other people on Georgia roadways,” the agency warned in a social media post. “We can’t stress it enough — Don’t Drink & Drive!”

Two others drowned in state waters over the weekend, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Rangers issued 28 citations to those boating under the influence, the agency said.

A 22-year-old man drowned Sunday afternoon on Lake Hartwell near the Big Oak day use, close to the Georgia-South Carolina state line. Armando Esteban Sanchez Martinez of Greer, South Carolina, was pulled from the water by witnesses but could not be revived, according to the DNR.

On Monday, two people on a personal watercraft were thrown into a private pond in Turner County, about 100 miles south of Macon. One person was able to swim to safety, but the second was not immediately located. The body was located in about five feet of water around noon Tuesday, the DNR said.

A number of fatal crashes remained under investigation Tuesday, including separate crashes that killed motorcyclists moments apart in Cobb and Forsyth counties.

Just after 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Tyler Wilson, 24, of Cumming, died at the scene of a crash in the area of Buford Dam Road and Timber Lake Trail, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Investigators believe Wilson had been riding a 2013 Yamaha FZ8 and was traveling behind a 2017 Buick Enclave.

“The Buick stopped for traffic due to another eastbound vehicle turning left onto Timber Lake Trail,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Stacie Miller said. “The Yamaha was unable to stop in time and the right side of the motorcycle clipped the driver’s side rear corner of the Buick.”

The motorcycle then crossed over into oncoming traffic, directly into the path of a Chevrolet Tahoe, Miller said. The driver of the Tahoe tried to brake, but was not able to avoid the crash, she said.

At 2:34 p.m., a 19-year-old motorcyclist was killed in a crash on Big Shanty Road at the intersection with Hidden Forest Court, according to Cobb County police.

Investigators believe Dylan Nekrasas of Roswell was eastbound on Big Shanty Road on a red and black 2002 Suzuki GSXR1000 in the left lane. A woman driving a 2017 BMW began to turn left on Big Shanty Road when her car was hit by the motorcycle, police said Tuesday. Nekrasas was ejected from the motorcycle before a second driver in a BMW hit him in the westbound lane of Big Shanty.

In a separate Cobb crash, a 41-year-old man died Tuesday morning after a medical emergency caused him to crash into a tree at the intersection of Summer Mist Cove and Summer Mist Court.

Investigators believe Paul J. Hester of Marietta lost consciousness while driving a light green 2003 Mazda MX-5 Miata. He was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital where he died from his injuries, police said.

Deadly crashes were also reported over the weekend in DeKalb, Fulton and Clayton counties, according to the State Patrol.