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Wreck claims life of teenager
4 Fatal Wreck pic
Weather appears to have been a factor in the single vehicle wreck Friday morning on Shoal Creek Road that claimed the life of a teen from Carlton. - photo by Photo/Submitted

Authorities are reminding motorists to use caution on area roads this holiday weekend in the wake of the county’s 10th traffic-related death of 2008.


Maj. Greg Rowan of the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office said drivers should slow down and pay extra attention when traveling during the 102-hour New Year’s holiday period, which begins at 6 tonight and runs until midnight Sunday.


The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the most recent fatal wreck, which happened about 6:45 a.m. Friday near Shoal Creek Road and Hwy. 136.


One man was killed and two others were injured when the 1996 Geo Tracker in which they were traveling left the road and hit a tree.


Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wooten identified the deceased as Timothy Brian Pettyjohn, 19, of Carlton.


Lanier Swafford, Dawson County’s chief of emergency services, said the injured were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.


Their identities have not been released, though an operator at the state patrol post in Cumming said Monday that both still were hospitalized.


No charges have been filed. Authorities have not said whether Pettyjohn, a Dawson County native that had lived in Oglethorpe County for the past three years, was driving the vehicle.


“It was raining at the time,” Wooten said. “Weather obviously was a factor. That is all I can say at this time.”


The state patrol reported 24 fatalities on Georgia roads during the Christmas holiday period, which ran from 6 p.m. Dec. 24 through midnight Dec. 28.


There was one other traffic-related death in north Georgia, according to the state patrol, which had predicted 19 traffic fatalities would occur during that span.


For the New Year’s travel period, the state patrol is predicting that 20 people will be killed and 1,350 injured in 3,008 wrecks statewide.


Friday’s death was the county’s 10th fatality of the year, twice as many as in 2007, when five people died. The wrecks in 2008 include the following:


• Oct. 14: Randall Faucett, 52, of Talking Rock, when the dump truck he was driving overturned at Wild Turkey and Red Fox roads inside Big Canoe.


• Sept. 10: Patrick “Steven” Combs, 24, of Dawsonville, a single-vehicle crash at Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.


• May 16: Steven Cozzolini, 41, of Blue Ridge, lost control of his vehicle on Hwy. 183. 


• April 10: Felicia M. Croy, 33, of Forsyth County, when an unlicensed driver in a log truck lost control on Kelly Bridge Road.


• Feb. 18: Blone Lee Kelley, 78, of Dalton, careened down an embankment in western Dawson.  


• Feb. 17: Christopher Sams, 33, of Forsyth County, and his unborn daughter in a collision on Hwy. 53 near the Forsyth County line.  


• Jan. 18: Preston Fleming, 17, and Stirling Morgan, 19, both of Dawson County, when the vehicle in which they were traveling crossed the centerline and collided with a school bus on Nix Bridge Road.   


E-mail Michele Hester at