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Holiday travel relatively quiet: 1 death locally, 12 statewide in wrecks
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Thanksgiving travel was relatively quiet in Hall County, marred only by a one-vehicle wreck in East Hall.

Daniel Ray Murray, 27, of Baldwin, was killed in a one-vehicle accident Saturday at Joe Chandler Road and Hawkins Road, the Georgia State Patrol reported.

He was driving a 2011 Nissan Altima on Joe Chandler Road around 7:30 p.m. Saturday when the vehicle left the road in a curve and struck a tree, the state patrol said.

No other people or vehicles were involved.

The report hadn’t been completed as of Sunday afternoon, the GSP reported.

Chad Mann, spokesman for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, said otherwise that authorities have worked “a few fender-benders.”

As of Sunday evening, the Georgia Department of Public Safety reported that 12 people had died statewide in wrecks — eight of those worked by the GSP. Statewide last year, 21 people died.

The state patrol had worked a total of 499 wrecks over the weekend, which also involved 225 injuries, as of Sunday evening.

The agency’s official reporting period ran from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Sunday.

Through 11 a.m. Sunday, troopers at Gainesville-based Post 6 investigated 31 crashes with six injuries and the one fatality, said Trooper Jonathan Munger, post spokesman.

Also, during that time, troopers stopped 709 vehicles, issuing 677 warnings and 228 citations, and they arrested 12 impaired drivers, Munger said.

Thanksgiving week signals the beginning of the busiest travel season of the year, running through the end of the year, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.

Officials advise drivers to use caution, checking tires and emergency kits and staying alert.

Highway Safety Director Harris Blackwood and Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough have toured the state touting the “Season for Safety” campaign.

“The holiday season is a festive time of the year and a time to enjoy family and friends,” McDonough said in a statement.

“It is a time of goodwill, so be courteous to others as you travel in the weeks ahead. Slow down, buckle up, take time to buckle up children, and designate a sober driver if alcohol consumption will be in your plans.”

Highway safety officials will focus on the importance of seat belt use and sober driving as part of the “Season for Safety.”

Research shows that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

“It’s a shame that we lose so many people who could have been saved by wearing a seat belt,” Blackwood said.

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