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Gainesville man charged in former official’s death

Wreck occurred in April 2010

POSTED: May 18, 2011 4:00 a.m.


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A 73-year-old Gainesville man faces charges in connection with a 2010 collision that claimed the life of a former Lumpkin County commissioner.


Frederick Karl Fidler was charged with second-degree vehicular homicide, failure to maintain lane and operating a motor vehicle without securing the load, accor-ding to Dawson County Sheriff’s records.


The charges are misdemeanors. Fidler was arrested and released May 10.


The fatal collision occurred April 23, 2010, on Hwy. 53 near the War Hill community.


Authorities have said Fidler was traveling east on Hwy. 53 when his Ford Explorer, which was hauling a trailer, crossed into the westbound lane and struck a sport utility vehicle.


The SUV was driven by Charlie Alex Ridley, 71, of Dawsonville.


A spokesman with the Georgia State Patrol, which investigated the crash, said Ridley’s SUV then flipped several times and struck an oncoming tractor-trailer.


Ridley, who served as Lumpkin County’s sole commissioner from 1997 to 2000, died at the scene.


During his tenure, Ridley spearheaded the development of Yahoola Creek Park, a Dahlonega sports complex. He also served on the local advisory board for Community & Southern Bank, formerly Appalachian Community Bank.


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