A Danielsville man was severely injured after the northbound Honda Accord he was driving crossed the centerline on Hwy. 29 North just south of Irvin Kirk Road and struck a tractor-trailer about 1:06 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
According to Cpl. C.E. Parker, assistant post commander of the Athens Georgia State Patrol office, Donny Eugene Watson, 34, had to extricated from his vehicle and was transported by ambulance to an Athens hospital.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Billy Todd Fowler, 48, also of Danielsville, was slightly injured, according to the report, but was not transported.
Seatbelts appear to have been in use, Parker noted.
A Danielsville man was pronounced dead at the scene of a single vehicle wreck on Old Wildcat Bridge Road north of Danielsville Wednesday afternoon.
According to Cpl. C.E. Parker, assistant post commander of the Athens post of the Georgia State Patrol, Donald Bruce Jennings 32, was the front seat passenger in the vehicle, according to GSP reports, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver, Danielle Jennings, 32, of Gainesville, was uninjured and charged at the scene with failure to maintain lane, reckless driving, DUI, two counts of endangering a child under the age of 14 while DUI and first degree vehicular homicide.
There were also two small children secured in child safety restraints in the vehicle who were uninjured.
According to Cpl. Parker, the 2001 Nissan Quest was traveling on Old Wildcat Bridge Road about 2:15 p.m. when it ran off the road striking several small trees, a wooden fencepost and a metal gate.
The vehicle then vaulted into the air and struck a tree with the passenger side door area and roof before it came to rest after striking several more small trees.
Parker said seatbelts were in use by all occupants of the vehicle and impairment is considered a factor in the crash.
The collision is still under investigation by the Georgia State Patrol-Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team and toxicology results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation-Division of Forensic Sciences are pending.
A local charity started in nearby Elbert County in 2008 to help a friend with cancer has spread its outreach to six other counties in recent years, including Madison County.
It all started with a motorcycle ride organized by three Elberton men, Darren Scarborough, Steven Higginbotham and Mike Webb, to raise money to help their longtime friend, TJ Johnson, with expenses related to his cancer diagnosis. The fund-raiser ride from Elberton to Helen raised $8,000 that day to help Johnson and his family with the “incidental” expenses involved in fighting cancer.
But that ride did more than help the Johnson family that day; it inspired a movement that shows no sign of slowing down.
Unfortunately, Johnson died in 2010, but his friends decided to honor his memory by continuing to raise money for other folks in the area and the TJ & Friends Foundation was born.
Their efforts also inspired several Madison County residents to join the movement to get more localized help to residents in this area fighting the dreaded disease, and to raise more funding to provide that help. The “Madison County” group meets monthly to discuss strategies and to plan fundraising and awareness campaigns.
One member, Ramona Booth, a longtime leader in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life’s annual event, says she not “knocking ACS” she just feels it’s time to see some money donated and spent locally to help her neighbors. Booth has lost many family members to the disease over the years. She, along with friend Sue Carithers, of Comer, also sit on the TJ and Friends board of directors.
Carithers, who is a breast cancer survivor, says she found out about TJ and Friends while working as a volunteer at Athens Regional Medical Center.
“I had so many people asking me if I knew where they could get gas money to make the drive in for cancer treatments and doctor’s appointments,” she said. “And one day I heard about TJ and Friends, so I started recommending patients who live in those counties get in touch with them.”
Now she talks with people all the time who say they’ve been helped by TJ & Friends.
And Carithers said she also likes that it is a local charity — something “right here to help us.”
“All people have to do is fill out a one-page application and provide proof of residency, a birth certificate and proof of cancer treatment,” she said. “They can get their check in as little as eight days.” [Full Story »]
Madison County High School and Madison County Middle School ag programs were honored at the March board of education meeting for receiving the 2014 National Association of Educators Outstanding Middle/Secondary Agricultural Education Program award, which was presented to only six agricultural programs in the nation.
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Sheriff Kip Thomas’s request for a new prison detail pickup truck was tabled at the board of commission meeting March 2 following a brief verbal sparring match between county commissioner Stanley Thomas and sheriff Thomas (no relation) over the expense of the program.
Sheriff Thomas told the board that he had obtained a price of $25,986 for a 2015 Ford F-250 crew cab. He said the final cost would be close to $29,000 after lights, striping and other additions were put on the truck.
Commissioner Thomas pointed out that allowing the sheriff’s office to take over the prison detail work for the county was supposed to save the county money over state crew expenses, but that the price of the truck, plus an additional deputy at $40,000 (including benefits) brought the program’s cost to $69,000 for this year, not including gas and other supplies.
“We are spending more now than when the other work crews were here,” he said.
He also asked if sheriff Thomas had looked at vans the county had purchased from the state for $5,000 for use at the senior center. He said a van like that should be able to pull the work detail trailer. [Full Story »]
My husband brought me three daffodils blooming near our mailbox last week, the day after the ice storm took out the electricity to most of northeast Georgia, our house included. Yet despite the cold and damp, those three brave little daffodils picked that day to bloom along the driveway even though the cold icy wind that blew through their perfect yellow blossoms. They were just a tiny spot of beauty in an otherwise gray day.
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