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Fatalities, accidents down so far for holiday period

POSTED: January 4, 2009 12:11 a.m.

With fewer miles being driven by holiday travelers this year, Georgia's fatal accident total for the New Year travel period may end up lower than predicted.

Statewide, 13 traffic deaths were reported as of late Saturday, with one day remaining in a holiday period in which the Georgia State Patrol predicted 20 highway fatalities. There have been 2,599 crashes involving 630 injuries in Georgia since Wednesday night, far below the prediction of 1,350 injured from car accidents.

AAA Auto Club South predicted about 2 percent fewer people would be traveling between Christmas and New Year's. The Georgia State patrol believes today may be the biggest travel day, with motorists returning home before the work week begins.

One of Georgia's 13 traffic deaths occurred in Gwinnett County around 9 p.m. Thursday when the driver of a Ferrari lost control on a curve on Harmony Grove Road.

Russell E. Hays, 32, of Auburn was killed after his car flipped and caught fire. Toxicology tests are pending to determine whether alcohol was a factor.

Other traffic deaths occurred in Decatur, Dalton, Lafayette, Eatonton, Sylvania, Dublin, Reidsville and Americus, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

The 102-hour New Year's holiday travel period runs from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to midnight tonight.

Last year during the same time span, there were 3,108 crashes on Georgia roads with 1,250 injuries and 22 deaths.



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