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Man charged following fatal Dawsonville motorcycle crash
1. Schenden MUG

A Forsyth County man was among the first of 15 fatalities on Georgia roads during the Memorial Day weekend.

Jeffery Bell, 38, of Cumming, died from injuries sustained when his motorcycle crashed Friday night at Hwy. 9 and Jewel Slaton Road in Silver City, near the Dawson-Forsyth County line.

His wife, 38-year-old Tanya Bell, was also seriously injured in the wreck that occurred just before 9:30 p.m.

She was taken by air ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with "non-life threatening head injuries."

Her husband was airlifted to Northside-Forsyth where he "passed away upon arrival," according to Georgia State Patrol Spokeswoman Robin Stone.

Authorities say they believe Christopher Michael Schenden, 21, of Dawsonville was driving under the influence of illegal drugs when he allegedly caused the crash by turning in front of the Bells' Harley Davidson.

"Blood tests are pending," she said.

A 19-year-old passenger in Schenden's car was also transported to an area hospital for evaluation, authorities said.

Schenden was charged with first degree vehicular homicide, serious injury by vehicle, failure to yield the right of way while turning left and DUI-drugs, according to arrests warrants.

"[He] failed to yield when he made a left turn on [Hwy.] 9 as he was going north. The motorcycle struck the ground on its right side before striking [Schenden's driver's side]," Stone said. "Both occupants were thrown from the motorcycle."

The state patrol's specialized collision reconstruction team is investigated the crash.

Schenden posted $35,200 bond Tuesday and was released from Dawson County Sheriff's custody.

The fatality was among 15 deaths reported on Georgia roads during the 78-hour Memorial Day weekend that started at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at midnight Monday.

Jeffery Bell's death marks the county's fourth fatality on local roads since the beginning of the year.