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Gainesville man killed in Dawson wreck remembered for love of cars
Authorities say a Gainesville man was killed in a wreck on Ga. Highway 53 in Dawson County on Tuesday morning. - photo by Ben Holcombe

Lanier Technical College instructor Steve Koen remembered his former student, Tyler Fried, for his passion about motorsports and his positive attitude. He was a quick study who was focused on learning and proud of his work.

“We have a class … where we teach students how to work with different machinery (and) materials to make and create parts for racecars, and he was very proficient at using those machines. He was very work-oriented. He loved to go to the racetrack. He loved to work on cars,” Koen said.

And if there was a car to love, it was Fried’s Ford Focus RS. 

“That was one of his prized possessions,” Koen said, as he recalled the former student making modifications and taking it to track day events.

Fried, 33, of Gainesville, died Tuesday morning following a two-vehicle wreck on Ga. Highway 53 in Dawson County. 

Troopers responded to the wreck at 9 a.m. April 7 in Dawson County, just east of the roundabout intersection of Ga. 53 and Elliott Family Parkway, according to Cpl. Travis Sanders of the Georgia State Patrol.

At this point, investigators believe a Dodge Ram truck, driven by James White, 41, of Dawsonville, was traveling east on Ga. 53 and crossed the roadway's centerline, striking a Ford Focus traveling west on Ga. 53, Sanders wrote in an email to the Dawson County News. 

Fried, who was driving the Ford Focus, sustained fatal injuries from the crash.

White, who was reportedly not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, was transported to an area hospital with visible injuries, Sanders said. Sanders didn’t have additional information on his condition.

The cause of the wreck is still under investigation and charges are pending, according to Sanders. The Georgia State Patrol Specialized Crash Reconstruction Team also responded to the crash scene. 

Ga. 53 was blocked for several hours Tuesday while authorities investigated the wreck, but the roadway has since reopened. 

Dawson County News Editor Alex Popp contributed to this report.