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Man indicted in woman’s death

POSTED: June 15, 2011 4:00 a.m.

A Dawson County grand jury has indicted a local man on felony vehicular homicide charges in connection with a June 2010 traffic incident that claimed the life of a 24-year-old Gainesville woman.

According to the indictment, Colon Louis Hartzler, 44, was under the influence of alcohol when he attempted to turn left onto Carlisle Road from Ga. 400.

Jenna Annette Fitzgerald, a passenger in Hartzler's Jeep, died after she was thrown from the vehicle and struck by an oncoming minivan.

The driver of the van, 20-year-old Michelle Nicole Chirillo of Dawsonville, was not charged.

Hartzler, who had stopped to help Fitzgerald and was also struck by the passing Ford Freestar, faces counts of first degree vehicular homicide, driving under the influence of alcohol, giving false statements and two traffic violations.

He was also indicted on a reckless driving charge for turning "at a high rate of speed while knowing the motor vehicle he was driving did not have passenger side doors," according to the indictment.

Georgia State Patrol's collision reconstruction team investigated the wreck, and in late October charged Hartzler.

He was arrested Nov. 1 and released a day later on $15,000 bond, according to Dawson County jail records.

A court date has not been scheduled.

 

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