2 midstate deaths included in Fourth of July weekend’s fatality count

lfabian@macon.comJuly 8, 2013 

Drivers killed in Jones and Putnam counties were among 11 people who died on Georgia roads during the long Fourth of July weekend, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

At about 7 p.m. Sunday, Wesley Thompson, 27, of Eatonton, lost control of his 2012 Ford F-250 pickup in the 400 block of Long Shoals Road, said Col. Russell Blenk of the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

Speed was a contributing factor on the slick road, and no seat belt was fastened when the truck went off the right shoulder, across a driveway and into a ditch before rolling into a utility pole, Blenk said.

In the fatal Jones County wreck, 39-year-old Roger Barlow lost control of a Chevy van with slick tires on Ga. 49 near Peacock’s Auto Salvage, officials said.

Barlow, who was born in North Augusta but owned Reliable Appliance in Macon, was killed when the van hit three trees, said Jones County Deputy William Jernigan. Barlow and his passenger were not wearing seat belts.

His passenger, 26-year-old Angela Baughman, was taken to the hospital and later released, Jernigan said.

Investigators are awaiting results of a blood-alcohol test to determine if he was driving under the influence.

Troopers are the lead investigators in fatality accidents in Haralson, Jefferson and Catoosa counties where a total of four people died, according to a Department of Public Safety news release.

Alcohol might have been a factor when Dennis Wynn, 49, of Stapleton, crashed his car while passing another vehicle on Ga. 102 in Jefferson County at about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, the release stated.

Wynn was not wearing his seat belt when he suffered fatal injuries.

A San Antonio couple died in Haralson County when their motorcycle crashed into trees off Interstate 20 in Haralson County Friday morning.

Felipe Cano Martinez, 68 died at the scene and 69-year-old Rosa Maria Martinez died Saturday.

Rossville’s Ronnie Lee Butler, 28, was not wearing his seat belt as he lost control of his Honda Civic on Interstate 75 at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday near mile marker 351 in Catoosa County.

Alcohol is not suspected in the crash that killed Butler, who went down an embankment and hit a tree.

Fatal accidents also were reported in Henry, Columbia and Fulton counties as well as in Atlanta and Carrollton.

Georgia troopers investigated 785 traffic crashes that resulted in 374 injuries.

In more than 16,600 traffic stops, troopers arrested more than 300 people on charges of driving under the influence.

The Fourth of July weekend holiday period began at 6 p.m. Wednesday and ended at midnight Sunday.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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