Crashes in Fulton, Cherokee claim four lives

Hundreds more injured during holiday weekend

As Memorial Day weekend headed to a close Monday night, separate accidents on Old National Highway in south Fulton County claimed two lives.

The crashes occurred within about 15 minutes of each other and less than one mile apart, Fulton County Police spokeswoman Det. Melissa Parker said.

The first wreck occurred at Old National and Hallie Mill Road around 10 p.m. A motorcycle collided with another car. The motorcyclist, 37-year-old Carlos Dickson, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash.

About 15 minutes later, a Honda Accord and Suburban collided about a mile away near the Bethsaida Road intersection, Parker said.

The driver of the Suburban, 34-year-old John Blackamoor, died at the scene.

A passenger in the Suburban and the driver of the Honda were rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital with injuries. Their identities and the extent of their injuries were unknown Monday night.

Police believe the crash occurred when one of the vehicles ran a red light, Parker said.

There were 12 more that died on state roads and highways since the start of the three-day weekend, including two Sunday afternoon in Cherokee County.

The driver and two passengers were westbound on Highway 20 when their 1995 Ford Taurus veered off the road and struck a tree, Georgia State Patrol spokesman Lt. Paul Cosper said.

Driver Mary Amber Queen, 24, and passenger Stacy Lamar Kabe, 29, both of Emerson, died at the scene, Cosper said.

Passenger Joseph Crosby, 41, was flown to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga with critical injuries. He was rushed into surgery with broken bones and internal injuries, Cosper said.

Investigators are still looking into the crash, but said weather and driver error may have been the cause.

More than 700 people were hurt in crashes reported since the holiday weekend began at 6 p.m. Friday, according to the State Patrol.

Motorists heading into greater Atlanta found themselves repeatedly encountering delays from accidents on the highways.

Overall, the state patrol received reports of more than 2,701 crashes throughout Georgia's roads through Monday at 6 p.m.

The Memorial Day weekend ends at midnight Monday.

In 2008, motor vehicle crashes killed 16 people and injured 912.

Authorities anticipated an increase in travel this year after higher gasoline prices in 2008 reduced the number of Memorial Day trips.