At least 17 killed on Georgia roads, waters over Memorial Day weekend

Tribune Content Agency

Crashes killed 15 people and two others drowned, including a 4-year-old from Cobb County, over the Memorial Day weekend in Georgia, according to investigators.

The number of victims could increase as others fight to recover from injuries. But the number is down slightly from 2022 when 20 were killed on state roads and waterways during the same holiday weekend.

A 4-year-old was among two drownings reported in the state. Viraat Gosain wandered away during a family gathering in Lizella, about 10 miles outside of Macon, and fell into a swimming pool, according to the Bibb County Coroner’s Office. The boy was days away from his 5th birthday.

Also in Bibb County, the search continued Tuesday for a 20-year-old believed to have drowned in the Ocmulgee River just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s office said.

“Witnesses stated that they saw their friend floating behind them on an inner tube and when they looked away and then back, he was no longer there,” the Bibb sheriff’s office said in a social media post. “No one witnessed the male subject go into the river.”

The man was identified as Raymund Ellison Jr. of Centerville.

In southwest Atlanta, a 40-year-old driver was killed Saturday evening after he crashed into a large concrete pillar supporting the elevated MARTA train tracks, according to investigators.

Police responded to the wreck at around 11:45 p.m. near Lee Street and Tucker Avenue. When officers arrived, they found the vehicle off the road with its driver trapped inside and not breathing. The man, who was not publicly identified, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Early Sunday morning, a 32-year-old Marietta man was killed in a single-vehicle, fiery crash that critically injured a passenger, according to Cobb County police. Investigators said bystanders pulled three people out of the SUV before first responders arrived at the scene.

Around 6:15 a.m., James Graham was driving a white 2018 Maserati Levante north on John Ward Road. In a curve in the road, the Maserati swerved to the right and drove off the road, hit an embankment and caught fire, according to Officer Aaron Wilson with Cobb police.

“Bystanders were able to remove all of the occupants of the vehicle before it became fully engulfed in fire,” Wilson said in a statement.

Graham died from his injuries. Two passengers were being treated at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital.

Deadly crashes were also reported in Gwinnett and Cherokee counties, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety. State troopers from various posts also investigated fatal crashes: Cartersville, Paulding, Newnan, Villa Rica, Monroe, Hazelhurst, Colquitt, Tifton and Dublin.