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Car accidents kill 3 over the holiday weekend
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Three Northeast Georgians were killed in traffic accidents over the holiday weekend, dampening Christmas for some families and friends.

The first accident occurred Friday night, when many people took to the roads to travel, according to Gordy Wright, spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol.

The accident occurred at 6:40 p.m. on New Liberty Road, about five miles north of Clarkesville in Habersham County.

Melvin Shane Stephens, 46, of Clarkesville, was traveling north on New Liberty when the 2003 Chevrolet Impala he drove left the road on a curve.

The car traveled down an embankment, struck several trees and overturned, Wright said.

Stephens was killed in the crash and a passenger, Tim Cantrell, 46, was airlifted to Gwinnett Medical for treatment.

Neither of the men used a seatbelt and Wright said the state patrol suspects alcohol was a factor. Wright said Cantrell’s city of residence was not immediately known.

About an hour later on Rockwell Church Road near Moons Bridge Road near Winder, the state patrol investigated a head-on collision that left a 29-year-old man dead.

Corey Scott Appling of Buford was killed when the 1996 Toyota Tacoma he was driving crossed the centerline and hit a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier.

Connie Sue Wallace, 46, of Winder drove the Chevrolet. She was taken to Athens Regional for treatment, Wright said.

Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the accident. Appling was not wearing a seatbelt, GSP said.

The third accident occurred at 12:40 a.m. Saturday in Banks County, Wright said. Barry Lane Forrester, 53, of Maysville was killed while working underneath his pick-up truck.

Forrester had pulled over when his truck broke down, but it was partially in the travel lane of Ga. 323 near mile marker 4.

He was underneath doing repairs when a Chevrolet Silverado being driven by Jerry Truman Blackwell, 64, of Ellijay hit the truck, pinning Forrester underneath, Wright said.

Blackwell was injured in the collision, the patrol said.

Traffic fatalities tend to spike during holiday travel periods, and agencies are extra vigilant for DUIs and other offenses.

Tuesday night marked the end of the travel period.

Gainesville Police and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office did not report any further traffic fatalities as of Tuesday evening.

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