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Local man killed in head-on collision
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A head-on collision Tuesday afternoon claimed the life of a Dawsonville man as he drove home from work.

 

John Paul Castanon, 24, died at Grady Memorial Hospital shortly after 8:30 p.m. from injuries sustained in the crash, Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said.

 

According to a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol, Castanon was the victim of a head-on collision on Auraria Road, near its intersection with Ga. 136.

 

Authorities say Eric Van Wertz, 37, of Dawson County, was driving at a high rate of speed when his Corvette crossed the center line and collided with Castanon's vehicle.

 

"Speed was definitely a factor," said GSP Trooper Todd Hinson, adding Van Wertz was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car.

 

Hinson said paramedics detected alcohol on his breath as they prepared Van Wertz for transport.

 

"So alcohol may also have been involved," he said.

 

Both men were airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition, according to Billy Thurmond, director of Dawson County Emergency Services.

 

A family friend said Castanon was on his way home from work when the wreck occurred about 5:30 p.m.

 

Vanessa Esparza said Castanon, who she called Juan Pablo, recently moved to the area from Norcross.

 

Van Wertz's condition was unknown Wednesday afternoon, Thurmond said.

 

The Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team is investigating the wreck.

 

While Tuesday's fatal wreck was Dawson County's first in 2011, it was the second motor vehicle related death in Dawson County in three days.

 

A 29-year-old Dawsonville woman was killed Saturday night when her car went into gear and rolled over her in her driveway.

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