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Additional charges for driver in wreck that killed Gainesville teen
Shannon Beauford

Update 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2: 

The Sheriff’s Office has added seven charges Monday, Nov. 2, for Beauford including DUI of drugs and second-degree child cruelty, authorities said. 

The accident investigation unit also obtained arrest warrants Monday on for charges of serious injury by vehicle, reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, failure to maintain lane and driving without a license, sheriff’s office spokesman Derreck Booth said. 

Beauford is still in the Hall County Jail, where he remains with no bond. 

Authorities did not provide any further information on the case. 

Defense attorney Andy Maddox did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Original story: A 17-year-old Gainesville girl was killed Sunday, Oct. 4, when the car she was a passenger in left White Sulphur Road, rolled and struck a culvert, according to authorities. The driver faces charges connected to the wreck.

Authorities say the teen, Madison Nicole Gray, was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where she died.

Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said Shannon Dwight Beauford, 25, of Gainesville, was driving a 2006 Toyota Corolla around 5:20 a.m. Sunday near the 3700 block of White Sulphur Road with Gray as his passenger.

Booth said Beauford allegedly failed to maintain his lane, and the car went off the road and rolled. The car struck a culvert and an embankment, Booth said.

Beauford and Gray were taken to the hospital, where Beauford was treated for injuries before being taken into custody.

He has been charged with first-degree vehicular homicide, and additional charges are forthcoming, Booth said. 

The wreck is still under investigation.

Gray was formerly a student at East Hall High School, but she was not enrolled at a Hall County school at the time of her death, according to Stan Lewis, a spokesman for the school system. 

“Our hearts and prayers go out to her family,” Lewis said.

Alisha Swearingen, who has known Gray’s father since high school, called Gray a “precious spirit.”

“She never had a problem with telling you how she felt, that she loved somebody or cared about somebody,” Swearingen said.

Swearingen said she gave Gray a puppy roughly nine months ago. She said she feels Gray had developed a passion for helping animals and had rehomed a handful of litters in the last year.

Richard Argueta, a senior at East Hall High School who had several classes with Gray, said she was one of the “sweetest people I’ve ever met.” 

“When I was around her it was always laughter, jokes, and smiling,” Argueta wrote to The Times. “I never would (have) expected to hear the news of losing my friend so soon.”

Argueta said Gray was beloved by many friends and considered perpetually “joyful and happy.”

“I’m so grateful to have been able to call her my friends and my ‘suggs’ most of all,” Argueta said. “We called each other ‘suggs,’ and it meant ‘sugar.’ I know the people who she was surrounded by will keep her alive.”

Swearingen was not familiar with Beauford’s connection to Gray.

Defense attorney Andy Maddox did not return a request for comment.