Eight dead in seven wrecks in metro Atlanta

Eight people were killed in seven separate wrecks across metro Atlanta Friday night and Saturday morning. A ninth metro motorist, a teen from Paulding County, died in a wreck late Friday afternoon in northwest Georgia, authorities said.

Four of those killed were on motorcycles, according to police.

The first of the wrecks happened about 10:20 p.m. Friday on Cobb Parkway in Marietta.

Marietta police spokesman Officer David Auld said Shawn Head was operating a 2002 Kawasaki ZK9 southbound when he lost control of the bike and left the roadway near the intersection with Polytechnic Lane.

Head, 46, of Winston, was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Auld said.

About the same time, one child was killed and several others injured when a sport utility vehicle overturned on I-20 at the exit to Ga. 92 in Douglasville, according to Channel 2 Action News. Several of those injured were airlifted from the scene.

Douglasville police told Channel 2 that a 7-year-old boy was killed, and that two girls, ages 6 and 13, were in critical condition at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. The woman driving the SUV was taken to Atlanta Medical Center with minor injuries, police told Channel 2.

“It appeared they may have missed their exit and tried to correct by cutting across the median and lost control of the vehicle,” Douglasville police Deputy Chief Gary Sparks told the station.

Douglas County Coroner Randy Daniel identified the child killed as Jamaul Lewis of Douglasville.

Shortly before midnight, three motorcycles and two cars were involved in a crash on I-285 southbound between Camp Creek Parkway and Washington Road, according to the Georgia State Patrol. Two of the motorcyclists were killed and the third was injured, State Patrol spokesman Gordy Wright said.

Two of the bikers struck a car stalled on the first lane from the median wall, while the third biker was thrown from his bike when he hit debris, Wright said.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office identified the two bikers killed as Kendrick Brown, 38, of Smyrna, and William Small, 48, of Lithia Springs. The third motorcyclist, Vernon Christopher Bliss, 43, of Douglasville, was injured, Wright said.

Around 12:15 a.m. Saturday, a 52-year-old man riding a bicycle on a Paulding County highway was struck and killed, Wright said.

He said the man, whose name was being withheld until relatives could be notified, was riding eastbound on Ga. 6 near Wayside Lane when his bicycle was hit from behind by a 2006 Pontiac G6 driven by Lindsay Harris, 20, of Hiram.

About 1:30 a.m. Saturday, Roswell police got a call about a motorcycle being driven recklessly on Ga. 400 northbound and responding officers found the bike wrecked near Mansell Road, according to police spokeswoman Lisa Holland.

Holland said the motorcycle apparently clipped a wall, causing a female passenger to fall off and be hit by another car, killing her. The biker, identified as David Neil Howell, also fell off, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries. Holland said he was released from the hospital and arrested, charged with DUI, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane and first-degree vehicular homicide.

His passenger was identified by the Fulton Medical Examiner’s office as Sarah Howell, 28, of Alpharetta. She was David Howell’s sister, Holland said.

The State Patrol is also investigating a 3 a.m. single-vehicle wreck in Coweta County that killed one teen and injured three others, Wright said.

He said a 1998 Toyota 4-Runner driven by 17-year-old Joseph Brian Shelnutt of Newnan ran off Smokey Road near Country Lane and overturned several times. A 16-year-old passenger in Shelnutt’s vehicle, Austin Walker Pope of Franklin, was killed, Wright said.

Atlanta police are investigating a fatal wreck that happened about 8:30 a.m. on I-285 northbound near Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The driver of an SUV lost control while changing lanes, and the vehicle flipped over, Atlanta police spokesman John Chafee said. Chafee said the driver, whose name has not been released, died on the way to a local hospital.

Wright said an 18-year-old from Dallas was killed Friday afternoon in a single-vehicle wreck on I-75 in Whitfield County.

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