While many people were ringing in the 2013 New Year, several people were killed during the holiday travel period, which began on Friday, December 28, at 6:00 p.m. and ended on Tuesday, January 1, at midnight. In fact, six people died in fatal Georgia crashes during the 102-hour period.
The Georgia State Patrol reported that the fatal wrecks occurred in Athens, Madison, Perry, and Valdosta cities, as well as Macon and Cobb counties. However, tragic as these fatalities are, the number compares favorably to last year during the same period, when 13 people died statewide.
During the 2012-2013 holiday travel period, the following was reported:
- 585 motor vehicle accidents
- 266 injuries
- 6 deaths
- 321 people arrested for driving under the influence
During the same time last year, 296 accidents occurred that resulted in 172 injuries and 13 fatalities, and troopers arrested 262 drivers for impaired driving. Although fatal crashes decreased for the 2012-13 year, accidents, injuries, and DUIs spiked from the prior year.
Some of the fatal crashes that occurred during the 2012-13 holiday period include:
- December 31, 2012 – Brian Allan Churchill, 29, of Jefferson, died when he lost control of his vehicle, ran his car into a fence, utility pole and tree. Police suspect alcohol was a contributing factor. His passenger was injured in the wreck.
- January 1, 2013 – Desmond Leroy Hall, 30, of Siloam, was killed in a pedestrian accident as he was walking with the flow of traffic on Ga. Highway 77. Police charged the driver involved in this crash with driving under the influence after Hall—a Georgia DUI victim—was killed.