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Teen is killed in Banks County wreck

Troopers do not know why truck left U.S. 441

POSTED: August 7, 2008 5:00 a.m.

An Alto teenager was killed and two of his friends were injured in a wreck Saturday night on U.S. 441 in Banks County.

Joseph Gowder, 16, died after the Ford pickup truck he was driving struck a guardrail and overturned near Windmill Farm Road, said Georgia State Patrol Trooper Mathew Miles.

Two passengers, Thomas Redmon and Jared Duncan, both 16 and of Commerce, were flown to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Miles said the two boys were in stable condition Sunday morning.

"Basically, what happened is (Gowder) ran off the shoulder of the road, came back onto the road, lost control, struck the guardrail ... and flipped multiple, multiple times," Miles said.

All three teens were thrown from the car.

Georgia State Patrol, which got the call about the wreck at 8:44 p.m., isn’t sure what caused the teen to lose control of the vehicle.

"It’s hard to tell if speed played a factor because ... there are no skid marks at all," Miles said. "It’s just basically ... (Gowder) tried to regain control and he just lost it, and the truck started going sideways."

Authorities have taken a blood sample from Gowder to determine if alcohol was involved, Miles said.

"We have to do that no matter if there is evidence or not," he added. "And there wasn’t any at the time."



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