Update: Deaths on Georgia roads over Christmas travel period more than double that of 2017

Press release from Georgia State Patrol

Update: Dec. 27, 2018

Georgia State Patrol reports 26 fatalities over the Christmas travel period from 6 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21, until 11:59 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 26. Although 24 hours longer than the 102 hours of 2017, it surpassed the number of 11 deaths by more than double. The 72-hour New Year’s Eve travel period begins at 6 p.m. tomorrow night, Dec. 28, 2018, and ends at midnight on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. GSP is urging motorist to be aware of the expected bad weather that begins tonight and to remember not to drink and drive!

Update: Dec. 26, 2018

Although the travel period for this Christmas is 24 hours longer than last year, the fatalities on Georgia roads had surpassed last year long before the extra time. By noon on Christmas Day with a full 36 hours still to go, 19 people had lost their lives on Georgia roads. During the 102-hour Christmas travel period in 2017, 11 people had died in motor vehicle accidents in Georgia. Georgia State Patrol troopers continue to urge caution as many travelers return home Wednesday.

Update: Dec. 23, 2018

By noon on Dec. 23, 2018, 10 people had lost their lives on Georgia roads over the travel period, two of them in Rockdale County worked by the local Georgia State Patrol Post 46 in Monroe.

According to GSP, at about 3:15 a.m. on Sunday morning, GSP responded to a single vehicle accident with a confirmed fatality. The vehicle was traveling north on Pleasant Hill Road when it failed to maintain its lane to the left, leaving the roadway and running into a brick wall with the driver’s side of the vehicle before hitting two trees. The vehicle came to a final uncontrolled stop a short distance from the trees. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene due to the injuries received in the crash. The name of the deceased has not been released at this time.

Update: Dec. 22, 2018

By noon on Dec. 22, 2018, the death toll on Georgia roads during the 126-hour Christmas travel period stood at five, one of the fatal wrecks worked by Georgia State Patrol 46 out of Walton County. The accident happened just after 4 a.m. Dec. 22, at Dogwood Road and Old Covington Highway in Rockdale County after the victim wrecked the car while fleeing from marked patrol cars in Rockdale County.

GSP reports that the Vehicle was traveling east on Dogwood Road negotiating a curve to the left when it failed to maintain its lane to the right, striking a ditch and going airborne before hitting a tree with the driver’s side and roof of the vehicle. It came to a final stop after rolling a short distance from the impact with the tree.

“The driver, Demetris Leonte Taylor-smith, 19, of Hampton VA and the passenger Lyndell D’andre Taylor, 23, of Hampton VA were brothers and were both wanted out of Virginia for felony warrants. The car they were in was stolen from Hampton VA and was the initial cause of the pursuit,” GSP reported.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of the crash and the passenger was treated at Atlanta Medical Center for a complaint of pain before being released into the custody of Rockdale County.

Initial story

(ATLANTA) – The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) will be on high visibility patrols on interstates and state roads during this year’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday travel periods in an attempt to thwart traffic crashes and encourage motorists to exercise safe driving habits. The Christmas travel period is 126-hours long, from 6 p.m. Fri., Dec. 21, until 11:59 p.m. on Wed., Dec. 26. The 102-hour New Year’s holiday period will begin at 6 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 28, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Tues., Jan. 1.

Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety said, “State troopers will be keeping a close eye out for motorists breaking state traffic laws and exercising bad driving habits that could potentially cause a fatal crash.”

Last year, the 2017 Christmas holiday travel period was 102-hours long. GSP investigated 554 crashes that resulted in 283 injuries and 11 fatalities. Troopers issued a total of 7,461 citations and 12,432 warnings, with 198 people arrested for driving impaired.

During the 2017 New Year’s holiday travel period, which was 78-hours long, GSP worked 370 wrecks that resulted in 205 injuries and five fatalities. In addition, troopers issued 6,542 citations, 10,680 warnings, and arrested 234 people for driving under the influence.

Troopers are cautioning drivers to plan for a sober designated driver if alcohol consumption will be part of your holiday celebrations. If you do not have a designated driver, call a taxi, rideshare, a friend, or family member to help you get home safely.

“This is a festive time of the year and we want everyone to enjoy the holiday season, but we also want everyone to be safe out on our roads,” added the commissioner.

During the holiday period, an updated traffic fatality count will be published on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/ga_dps.

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