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2 women, teen taken to hospital after head-on collision
Driver of one vehicle badly injured; charges pending, State Patrol says
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Chip Patterson of Patterson’s Inc. loads one of the two cars involved in a head-on collision Friday on Old Cornelia Highway onto the back of a wrecker. The Ford Expedition was carrying three people. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Three women were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, one in serious condition, after a head-on collision at about 2 p.m. Friday on Old Cornelia Highway, according to Georgia State Patrol officials.

A GMC Sonoma crossed over the center line on a curve on Old Cornelia Highway, colliding with a Ford Expedition just past Dana Drive, authorities said.

Responders removed both drivers from their respective vehicles and transported them to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. The Expedition’s 16-year-old front seat passenger, though seen walking around afterward, also was transported and later evaluated and released, State Patrol Sgt. Anthony Coleman said.

The driver of the Expedition was Blanca Arjon, 36, of Gainesville, who was treated at the hospital for injuries.

The driver of the Sonoma was determined to be at fault, Coleman said. She was identified as 51-year-old Claudette Simental of Lula. She suffered serious injuries, he said.

Charges are pending at this time, Coleman said, with a determination made after the injuries are assessed.

“We’ll have to see what her outcome is,” Coleman said.

Speed was not a factor, he said.

“We didn’t find any roadway evidence that showed she put her brakes on or took a hard evasive maneuver to avoid the other vehicle,” Coleman said.

Coleman said a 9-year-old was in the back seat of the Expedition but was not transported to the hospital.

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