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Former county worker agrees to reduced charge

POSTED: May 25, 2011 4:00 a.m.

A former Dawson County maintenance worker has been sentenced for his role in a June 2010 wreck that claimed the life of a Dawsonville man.

James "Jim" Ferrante, 42, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless conduct.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Superior Court Judge Bonnie Oliver sentenced Ferrante to 30 days in jail, which is being served on work release, according to court records.

The jail time will be followed by 11 months on probation. Ferrante must also pay a $500 fine, plus court costs and fees.

Ferrante was originally charged with second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to yield the right of way after the county maintenance trailer he was hauling collided with a motorcycle outside Veterans Memorial Park on Hwy. 9.

The driver of the motorcycle, 23-year-old William Buchanan "Buck" Chapman, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Authorities have said the truck turned into the path of the motorcycle.

Ferrante had worked as a facilities maintenance supervisor with the county since 2004 before resigning in late November.

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