Update: 17 fatalities reported in Georgia over Memorial Day, plus one in Gwinnett

Press release from the Georgia Department of Public Safety


ATLANTA- Georgia State Patrol is reporting that traffic crashes across Georgia during the Memorial Day holiday travel period resulted in 17 traffic deaths.  The 78-hour holiday period was from Friday, May 24, at 6 p.m. until Monday at 11:59 p.m.

“Statewide, Georgia State Troopers investigated 396 traffic crashes that resulted in 203 injuries.  Troopers also investigated 12 fatal crashes (resulted in 13 traffic deaths). The fatal crashes occurred in Bartow, Catoosa, Greene, Cook, Laurens, Camden, Fannin, Hancock, Lowndes, Worth, Coweta, and Heard counties.  Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the holiday period were: Atlanta PD, Cobb Co. PD, Forsyth Co. S/O, and Milton PD,” GSP wrote in a press release.

However, in addition, the Gwinnett County Police Department Accident Investigation’s Unit (AIU) is investigating a traffic fatality that occurred at 3 a.m. on Monday, May 27,  on Oak Road near Hutchins Road in unincorporated Lawrenceville. It is possible that has not yet been reported to GSP. That would put the total fatalities on Georgia roads over the Memorial Day travel weekend at 18.

According to a press release from GCPD, preliminary investigations reveal that Yovana Gonzalez, 23, of Lawrenceville died when her 2014 GMC Siera ran off the road in a curve, struck a roadway sign and then hit a tree. She had one occupant in the vehicle with her. Both were transported to a local hospital, but Gonzalez later died of her injuries. Her next-of-kin have been notified.

In addition to crash investigations, State Troopers arrested 357 people for driving under the influence.


By halfway through the Memorial Day Weekend travel period, the fatalities on Georgia roads had already surpassed the total reported for the whole weekend last year. By noon on Sunday, May 26, Georgia State Patrol had already had 11 fatalities reported since the 78-hour travel period begun at 6 p.m, on Friday. At this time, none have been reported in the local area.

Initial Story

(ATLANTA) –The Georgia State Patrol is urging drivers who will be traveling throughout the state this weekend to make safety a priority. This year’s Memorial Day 78-hour holiday travel period will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 24, and end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 27. During the holiday period, state troopers will be on high-visibility patrols keeping an eye out for impaired drivers and other traffic violations that could potentially cause a crash.

 “We want to make holiday travel as safe as possible,” said Colonel Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety. “Observe the posted speed limit, don’t drive distracted, and plan a safe way home if consuming alcoholic beverages is in your plans.”

Before you begin your trip, make sure your vehicle is “road ready,” by checking fluids, tires, brakes, etc. Also, make sure that everyone is wearing their seatbelt and that small children are properly restrained.

 “Remember to stay alert behind the wheel, ‘pack your patience’, and be courteous to other drivers at all times,” the commissioner said.

During the 2018 Memorial Day holiday, the Georgia State Patrol investigated 510 traffic crashes that resulted in 320 injuries and three traffic fatalities. (An additional five traffic fatalities were reported by other state agencies, resulting in eight total fatalities over the weekend in the state of Georgia.) In addition to the traffic crash investigations, troopers arrested 323 people for driving under the influence, while issuing 8,639 citations, and 11,979 warnings.

During the Memorial Day travel period, the Georgia State Patrol will again be participating in the national mobilization of the ‘Click It, or Ticket’ program. State troopers will be working alongside sheriffs’ deputies and police officers to enforce Georgia’s seat belt laws and to educate the public on the importance of wearing seat belts while traveling in motor vehicles. This program is coordinated in Georgia by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

The holiday traffic fatality count will be updated throughout the travel period on the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/ga_dps.

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