The three-vehicle crash at the Dawson-Forsyth County line Wednesday that sent several people to the hospital occurred, authorities said, when a teenage driver suffered a medical episode.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, the 17-year-old White County resident was traveling east on Hwy. 53 about 7:45 a.m. in a 2002 Chrysler Sebring when he struck the rear of a 2007 Honda Accord in front of The Church at War Hill.
The impact sent the Honda, which had been stopped to make a left turn into the church parking lot, into the westbound lane of Hwy. 53 and the path of a 1998 Dodge Ram 1500.
The Honda was then redirected back to the west and came to rest in a ditch in the westbound shoulder in front of the church.
The Dodge ended up in the church driveway on top of a culvert, according to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
The Sebring came to rest in the eastbound shoulder, about 300 feet east of the initial rear-end collision.
Rodriguez said the Forsyth sheriff's office and fire department and Dawson County emergency personnel came to the scene.
The driver of the Honda, a 48-year-old man from Dahlonega, his 16-year-old front seat passenger and the driver of the Dodge, a 33-year-old from Gainesville, were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.
Neither driver was seriously injured, Rodriguez said, but both were still awaiting results from tests as of Thursday morning. The 16-year-old suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.
A 14-year-old rear passenger in the Honda was treated on scene for scratches.
According to a sheriff's report, "During the course of the on-scene investigation, and with help of fire department paramedics, it was determined the 17-year-old driver of the Sebring has more than likely experienced a medical episode just prior to the crash, causing him to black out."
The teen was taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth, where it was determined he was experiencing "symptoms of a previously undiagnosed medical issue." He was treated and released.
Rodriguez said he will not face charges.
The road was closed for about two and a half hours as crews cleared the scene.