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Dawsonville man killed in single vehicle wreck
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A single vehicle wreck in Lumpkin County claimed the life of a longtime Dawson County man early Sunday morning.

Kenneth "K.K." Turner, 85, was pronounced dead on Sunday morning following the wreck on Long Branch Road near Early Drive.

According to Lumpkin County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Chris Pfrogner, emergency personnel responded to the scene at 12:04 a.m. on Dec. 4.

Lumpkin County authorities turned over the scene to the Georgia State Patrol.

Robin Stone, spokeswoman for the Georgia State Patrol, said that Turner was driving a 2005 Cadillac Escalade southbound on Long Branch Road in Lumpkin County when the vehicle crossed the centerline and went off the east shoulder of the roadway.

The car struck a road sign and continued to travel south on the east side of the roadway before striking a tree with the front portion of the vehicle, according to the report.

According to Stone, Turner was deceased on scene.

He was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident.

Stone said that according to the reports, weather was not an issue, but the roads were wet.
According to friends and family, Turner was on his way from a gospel concert when the wreck occurred.

According to his obituary, Turner was born on Nov. 27, 1931 in Salisbury, N.C. to the late Joseph and Myrtie Vera Turner. He lived most of his life in Dawson County and was a graduate of Dawson County High School. Turner was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Betty Jo Turner.

Many who knew Turner remember his involvement with various community organizations, like the Lions Club and chamber of commerce. He was also known as one of the largest land owners in Dawson County.

Greg Hicks, Dawsonville Lions Club president, said that Turner was a lifetime member of the club.

"He was a member for over 40 years," Hicks said. "He was always really kind to us and let us setup our moonshine festival booth outside his house. [Turner] also was supportive of us with charitable donations throughout the years."

Christie Haynes, president of the Dawson Chamber of Commerce, said that Turner and his late-wife were original members of the chamber, according to their articles of incorporation from 1977.

"He was an influential member of the business community," Haynes said.

Gordon Pirkle, Dawson County historian, knew Turner for most of his life.

"He did many things to help this community that he didn't get credit for," Pirkle said. "He helped out a lot of people, giving them money and things, but didn't let anyone know about it. I count him as one of my dearest friends, and I'm really going to miss him."

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. today in the Bearden Funeral Home Chapel in Dawsonville. Interment will follow in the Dawsonville City Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lumpkin Campground, care of Brian Martin, 4945 Hubert Martin Rd., Cumming, GA 30028.

Sunday's wreck was one of many that have occurred in the past week in Dawson County as heavy rainfall has hovered over the region.

According to Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford, a head-on collision occurred on Nov. 5 at the intersection of Hwys. 183 and 53. Swafford said that one patient was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in non-critical condition, while another patient refused transport.

And previously, on Nov. 30, emergency services responded to a call reporting a head-on collision off Grizzle Road.

According to Swafford, two patients were transported in serious condition to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Swafford said that all of the rain that the county has been receiving this week has made the roads very slick and that drivers should use caution.