Family members of two fatal wreck victims in White County said Thursday they were thankful that White County had placed temporary concrete barriers at the scene of the crash, a bridge on Gene Nix Road.
“That mission has been completed,” said Shannon Hamilton of Hall County, who tried to put up his own safety measures using a road base Sunday afternoon and, after being warned to stop, was arrested by White County sheriff’s deputies.
Hamilton’s daughter, Cecily Mcree Hamilton, 16, and driver Taylor Scott Swing, 18, of Cleveland, died in the crash.
“I’m real happy, for our kids and so that no other family has to hurt like that,” said Swing’s mother, Sara Swing. “It’s just for safety, just so that nobody has to grieve like we’re grieving right now.”
In an incident that has captured national attention, Hamilton was charged with felony interference with government property and taken to the White County Detention Center. He is free on $5,000 bail.
The teens, who were dating, were traveling on Gene Nix Road when the car went off the west shoulder, struck a bridge support, then vaulted off a bank and landed on its top, according to the Georgia State Patrol.
The car was was found submerged in a creek March 15.
The crash report shows no cause or particular circumstances that may have led to the wreck.
About two weeks ago, the White County Board of Commissioners approved installing guardrails at the bridge and hiring an engineer to study the project.
County Manager Mike Melton said earlier this week — after Hamilton’s arrest — that “probably within the next week, we should be able to get a contractor on board and have them start necessary construction.”
The county’s road crew put the barricades in place Wednesday. The barriers were placed on all four corners of the bridge over the creek near Water Cress Road.
“This is a temporary measure. We are working on permanent guardrail system but do not have a date certain,” Melton said Thursday.
He also didn’t have an estimated cost for the project.
“It’s about time,” said Cecily’s brother, Kale Hamilton, who shot a now-viral video of his father’s arrest. “It’s definitely a blessing to my family and ... my dad is succeeding in his mission.”
Shannon Hamilton said in an emailed statement he got emotional on his way to see the barricades as he recalled a blue T-shirt Cecily’s mother bought for her when she was little. It depicted a broken heart and read “My Daddy Can Fix Anything.”
“I loved seeing that shirt because I had that confidence ... but the one thing in this world I can’t fix are ... those two beautiful lives that were lost in that creek,” he said.
Hamilton added: “It is time for me to move on with my other positive missions I have been called to do. Wherever Cecily tells me to go, and whatever Cecily tells me to do, that will be my mission.”