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Holiday traffic deaths lower than predicted
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Statewide holiday traffic crashes and fatalities were lower than expected this year.

Prior to the Thanksgiving holiday period, which began at 6 p.m. on Nov. 24 and concluded at midnight Sunday, Georgia State Patrol and Department of Transportation officials predicted that there would be 3,570 crashes and 16 deaths. According to a report released Monday by the Georgia Department of Public Safety, there were 3,089 actual crashes with 13 deaths.

Two of those fatalities occurred locally — one in North Hall County and the other in Buford.

Erin Prichett, a 22-year-old Gainesville resident, was killed in a 2 a.m. single-vehicle crash Saturday on Glade Farm Road in Hall County. Prichett lost control of her 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe, ran off the road and struck a tree. According to Georgia State Patrol officials, alcohol was not a factor in the accident and no clues are available about what caused her to lose control of the SUV.

Another fatal crash was recorded over the weekend by the Gwinnett County Police Department. According to department officials, 18-year-old Triston Sadler of Buford was killed when he lost control of his 1989 Volvo passenger vehicle on South Bogan Drive near Quail Creek Drive in Buford. The vehicle overturned several times around 8:45 p.m. Sunday. Sadler was thrown from the vehicle, as was one of his passengers. Although none of the vehicle’s occupants were wearing seat belts, a second passenger remained inside the vehicle during the accident.

The passengers have been identified as Vernon Thomas and Ashtyn Roper, both 17-year-old Buford residents, who sustained injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Although 3,089 crashes, 730 injuries and 13 fatalities may seem like high figures for a four-day period, the statistics actually reflect a reduction from 2008 when there were 3,815 crashes, 1,457 injuries and 19 deaths.

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