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Chain-reaction crash injures 3
5-car pileup shuts down Ga. 53
This Chevrolet Avalanche was one of five vehicles involved in a chain-reaction crash Wednesday afternoon on Dawsonville Highway near Lake Lanier.

A chain-reaction crash involving five vehicles Wednesday afternoon on Dawsonville Highway (Ga. 53) near the Forsyth-Hall county line sent three people to area hospitals, authorities said.

The collision, which happened about 2:45 p.m. at Dogwood Path by Lake Lanier, shut down the highway for more than two hours in both directions.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Cpl. David Garrison said all the vehicles involved were traveling east toward Gainesville.

Garrison said the pileup began when a Nissan minivan driven by Zavala Avrelio, 50, of Forsyth County stopped to make a left turn onto Dogwood.

Two vehicles, a Ford Crown Victoria and a Honda CRV, were waiting behind the minivan when a Chevrolet Avalanche towing a trailer with a Ford Mustang on it came up around the hill.

"He hits the CRV, the CRV then hits the Crown Vic, the Crown Vic then hits the Nissan, so a nice big chain reaction," Garrison said.

The driver of the Avalanche, who Garrison identified as 56-year-old Rodney Ouzts of Pickens, S.C., did not receive medical treatment. But Garrison said Ouzts' passenger, 33-year-old Brandon Henry of Pickens, S.C., was flown to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was in stable condition.

Also injured were Avrelio and Dahlonega resident Amanda Dunn, 30, who Garrison said was driving the Ford Crown Victoria.

He said Avrelio and Dunn were both in stable condition at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.

There were two people in the Honda, neither of whom received medical treatment at the scene.

A fifth vehicle, the Mustang on the trailer the Avalanche was pulling, was involved in the incident.

"He had just bought the Mustang," Garrison said of Ouzts. "He was taking it back home to South Carolina."

Forsyth County fire, Emergency Medical Services and sheriff's office personnel responded to the incident, as did Hall County's fire department and sheriff's office.

"It is very helpful in these kinds of incidents to have units respond from both directions," said Forsyth County Fire Cpt. Jason Shivers. "We do that for them and they do it for us often."

As of Wednesday night, the investigation into the wreck continued and no charges had been filed.


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