14 killed in wrecks, 1 by drowning over Labor Day weekend

State troopers worked to stop speeders and impaired drivers during Labor Day weekend.

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Safety

Credit: Georgia Department of Public Safety

State troopers worked to stop speeders and impaired drivers during Labor Day weekend.

Crashes on Georgia roads killed 14 people and another person drowned after falling out of a boat during the Labor Day weekend, state officials said Tuesday.

The same number of people died in vehicles crashes during the 2021 holiday, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Three drowned in state waters the previous year, the Department of Natural Resources reported.

Experts had warned that the last hurrah of summer would be a busy one on the roads, helped by dipping gas prices. While many spent the long weekend out of metro Atlanta, thousands of others flocked to the city for various events, including college football and the DragonCon festival. State troopers and police agencies were out in force over the three days.

A 7-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy were among those killed in separate crashes, according to police.

A northeast Georgia boy died Saturday afternoon when his dirt bike collided with a four-wheeler, the Georgia State Patrol said. David “Lake” Fuller died at the scene of the crash on Beaver Dam Road in Hart County. He was 14 and an eighth grader.

“Lake will be remembered by his teachers, friends and administrators as having a contagious smile and an outgoing personality,” Jennifer Carter, superintendent for Hart County schools, wrote in a letter to families. “He had a passion for all things outdoors and could brighten the room with his sense of humor. The entire Hart County Middle School family is heartbroken by this loss.”

Early Sunday morning, a 7-year-old was killed in a hit-and-run in Clayton County, according to police.

Officers were called to the area of Tara Boulevard and Southside Commercial Parkway around 2:30 a.m. and found the child deceased, according to a news release.

“We are desperately asking for the public’s assistance,” Sgt. Julia Isaac with Clayton County police said. “If you were traveling on Tara Boulevard around that time, you may not have realized you hit someone. We are urging you to give us a call if you remember any details while you were traveling in that area.”

Atlanta investigators believe speed was a factor in a deadly crash around 4:30 a.m. Sunday at 2302 Marietta Boulevard. A tractor-trailer was pulling out of a driveway when the driver of a Ford Escape crashed at a high rate of speed, according to police.

State troopers from various posts around the state were called to investigate deadly crashes, including posts in Valdosta, Forest Park, Cordele, Newnan, Albany, Hartwell, Marietta, and Sylvania. Cobb County police and the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office also investigated fatal crashes.

DNR rangers cited six people for boating under the influence during the holiday weekend, according to data released Tuesday. One of those cited was involved in a drowning in Bear Creek on Lake Jackson early Sunday.

Deppish Kirkland, 72, of Savannah, fell overboard while riding on the gunwale of a Sea Hunt center console boat, the DNR said. The boat operator turned around to pick up the man but was unable to locate him.

Game wardens arrived around 2:30 a.m. Sunday and began searching for Kirkland utilizing side scan sonar. The body was located and recovered at 10:31 a.m. by game wardens and the Covington Dive Team, according to a DNR spokesman. The driver of the boat was cited for BUI.