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Former Lumpkin commissioner Ridley dies in wreck
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A former Lumpkin County commissioner was killed Friday in a car accident in Dawson County, officials said.

Charlie Alex Ridley, 71, died after his SUV was struck by a another car that crossed over the center line on Ga. 53 near War Hill Road, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Patrol officials said a car was eastbound on Ga. 53 shortly after 5 p.m. Friday when the driver lost control, went into the westbound lane and struck Ridley's car. Ridley's car also lost control and went into the eastbound lane, striking a tractor-trailer.

Ridley, the only passenger in his car, was ejected and died at the scene.

Additional information about the crash was not available Saturday. The patrol's specialized crash reconstruction team continues to investigate.

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden confirmed that Ridley was a one-time commissioner for Lumpkin County.

According to Times archives, Ridley served as Lumpkin County's sole commissioner from 1997 to 2000. At the time, the county was one of the few in Georgia that still operated under a single-person commission system. Ridley was preceded in the office by J.B. Jones, who served for 24 years, and was suceeded by Steve Gooch.

Lumpkin County now is governed by a five-person commission.

During his tenure, Ridley spearheaded the development of Yahoola Creek Park, a Dahlonega sports complex that has been continued by his succesors on the commission.

 

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