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Wrecks increase sheriffs efforts
Patrols target Ga. 365 and Old Cornelia Highway
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A string of deadly wrecks this week, many on Ga. 365 and Old Cornelia Highway, has the Hall County Sheriff's Office putting extra emphasis on those areas.

Thursday night, an 8-year-old was killed in a wreck on Ga. 365. On Wednesday, three were killed on the Habersham County section of the road.

Last weekend, an accident on Old Cornelia Highway involving a motorcycle killed one.

Other wrecks in the East Hall area include one Friday morning near Gillsville that killed two.

"Over the last week we've had several fatalities," said Col. Jeff Strickland of the Hall County Sheriff's Office. "With these two (most recent fatalities), it puts us at 22 fatalities for the year."

On Friday morning, two people were killed in a head-on collision near Gillsville that involved a Ford Fusion and a Ford Explorer, Georgia State Patrol officials said.

Stephen Michael Cole, 50, crossed the center lane and hit Courtney Lovell, 22, Hall County Deputy Coroner John Abernathy said.

The accident happened at Joe Chandler Road and Whippoorwill Road west of Gillsville, GSP officials said.

On Thursday night, Ariana Renea Collins, 8, was killed in a wreck on Ga. 365 at Mountain View Parkway.

A car traveling south on Ga. 365 was attempting to turn left onto Mountain View and struck another car traveling north, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Three others were injured and taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Strickland said between 20 and 25 traffic deaths is the average they see each year.

"The No. 1 goal of our traffic enforcement unit is to prevent fatalities," Strickland said. "We've actually been targeting the Old Cornelia Highway area and Ga. 365 area in North Hall because of some accidents that have happened there."

Strickland said Ga. 365 is a problem area because of the high speed limit and roads that cross the highway.

"The vehicles that are traveling on 365 are traveling at 65 miles per hour," Strickland said. "We urge them to use extreme caution because of the speed."

Strickland said deputies will be putting extra time into those areas in light of the recent accidents.

"We will continue to monitor those in the upcoming weeks," Strickland said. "Our goal by enforcing the speed limit on 365 is we keep the speed limit under control and it keeps it safe for people crossing the road and entering the highway."

Times metro editor Shannon Casas contributed to this report.


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