Sunday marks a year since Angie Haver lost control of her Sport Utility Vehicle while driving to work on Tucker Road.
The GMC Envoy went down an embankment and struck a pine tree, leaving 38-year-old Haver with what would become a fatal head injury.
“We have no clue what the cause was,” Haver’s husband, Rob, said last week.
Haver was one of 14 people killed in 13 Bibb County vehicle crashes in 2011. Bibb County deputies investigated 14 fatal crashes the previous year.
In the city of Macon, seven people died in seven crashes in 2011, down from 23 people killed in 22 crashes in 2010.
Five of the crashes in the city and county involved pedestrians, some of whom were intoxicated when they were struck by vehicles, according to statistics provided by Macon police and Bibb County deputies.
Macon police fatality investigator Austin Riley attributed the reduction in traffic deaths in the city to officers’ targeted traffic patrols.
“We are focusing on the major intersections where wrecks occur,” he said.
When drivers see patrol cars at the wreck hot spots, they tend not to break traffic laws that lead to crashes, Riley said.
There were many different locations for the fatal wrecks in 2011 and a range of causes in both the city and county.
Eight of the crashes in the city and county were related to alcohol or drugs, according to the statistics.
Weather was a contributing factor to the Dec. 12 crash that killed 29-year-old Empress Janeen Hughes of Macon, said Sheriff’s Office Capt. Harry Colbert.
The doctor, who was serving a residency at The Medical Center of Central Georgia, was a passenger in a Honda Civic whose driver lost control of the car on a wet road and struck a large boulder.
Colbert said drivers should take special care when driving just after rain begins to fall, especially after a long dry spell.
The rain brings oils to the top of the road surface, he said.
“That makes the roads and lots slicker until the rain washes it off,” he said.
One of the crashes occurred in a construction zone.
Edward Young, 59, of Macon was killed in a March 21 crash caused by his driving too close behind a dump truck in a construction zone on Interstate 75 in south Bibb County, Colbert said.
He said drivers should be extra alert in areas where the road is under construction.
Riley cautioned pedestrians to wear light colored clothing and use crosswalks in well-lit areas when possible.
They also should be especially careful if crossing a road while intoxicated, he said.
Drivers also should be on the look-out for pedestrians at intersections with crosswalks.
Pedestrians in a crosswalk have the right of way, Riley said.
“They need to anticipate (a pedestrian) and slow down,” Riley said.
Drivers should also anticipate that a green light might change to yellow or red as they approach an intersection and slow down to avoid a crash, Riley said.
Neither deputies nor police have evidence that cell phone use contributed to a traffic fatality last year.
Rob Haver said he checked his wife’s cell phone and didn’t find any outgoing calls or text messages from the time when her vehicle crashed.
It was a sunny day. He was at a friend’s home with the plan of playing golf when he got a cell phone call from a deputy telling him his wife had been in an accident.
Haver said he doubts his wife was speeding. She was ready for work well ahead of when she left.
“We just don’t know why,” he said.
At the Haver house, the answering machine still plays Angie Haver’s voice asking callers to leave a message.
Haver says it’s because he doesn’t know how to change the message. His wife was the one who handled the electronics in the house.
She left behind the finishing touches from her decorating skills at the house where Haver remembers seeing his wife for the last time. They’d prepared breakfast for their girls, now aged 6 and 12, on a normal Saturday morning.
“You never know what can happen,” Haver said. “You can’t take things for granted.”
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.