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Business owner dies in accident
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The owner of a Dawsonville counseling center was killed in his side-yard last week when his riding lawnmower rolled on top of him.

Douglas Edward Klesius, 47, owner of Wellspring Counseling North Georgia on Old Dawson Forest Road, was mowing a steep bank of his lawn in Dahlonega on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 18, when he accidentally drove off a cinder-block wall, said officials with the Lumpkin County Sheriffs Office.

Klesius was soon discovered by his girlfriend who said she noticed that the lawnmower stopped running about 45 minutes after Klesius had left to cut the grass.

She called 911 after attempting to free Klesius from beneath the mower.

By the time emergency workers arrived on the scene, Klesius was dead, according to a LCSO incident report.

It was just an unfortunate accident, said Burnett.

Klesius was a professional counselor and the owner of Dawsonvilles Wellspring Counseling Center. He was one of five counselors at the center.

John Kahle, a personal friend of Klesius for more than 10 years and a counselor at Wellspring, said he spoke to Klesius the morning of the accident.

I talked to him for an hour and a half that morning, said Kahle. We talked about expanding the business and opening a halfway house, then he said, I gotta go cut the grass. That was the last time I spoke to him.

Kahle added that Kleusius made numerous clinical contributions to residents of Dawson County. He was instrumental in starting the first co-dependency anonymous group, called CODA, in Dawson County, and he worked with the non-profit organization No One Alone (NOA), according to Kahle.

He had a heart bigger than Texas and this big booming laugh, he said. He loved his work and adjudicated people in Dawson, White, and Lumpkin counties for substance abuse. Hed see them come in and make a change. Thats why we do social work. It sure isnt about the money.

Kleusis was a graduate of North Georgia College & State University. He moved to the area in 2000.

Kimberly Boim, publisher of the Dawson News & Advertiser, contributed to this story.