20 die in New Year's weekend accidents in Georgia

The Georgia State Patrol's prediction held true as 20 people died in traffic accidents over the New Year's weekend travel period.

Between 6 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Sunday 870 people were hurt in 3,507 accidents on Georgia roads.

The patrol had predicted 20 people would die and 1,350 would be hurt in 3,008 accidents.

Three of the deaths occurred in Central Georgia where the Georgia State Patrol post in Dublin is investigating two highway fatalities and the Putnam County Sheriff's Office is investigating the third, according to the Web site of the Georgia Department of Highway Safety.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said they had to use fingerprints to identify a New Year's Eve accident victim in the northeast part of the county.

Armando Ortiz, 34, a Mexican national living in Putnam County, was injured beyond recognition in the crash on New Phoenix Road at about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sills said.

Alcohol was a likely factor in the accident as Ortiz drove a 1997 Volkswagen Jetta off the road and hit a fence post before flipping into a tree, Sills said.

Troopers believe alcohol was a factor in both Dublin area accidents. Tanorrie Stephens, 30, of Jeffersonville jumped from a moving car on U.S. 80 and was hit by a pickup on New Year's Eve. Jermaine Tyrone Wright, 34, of Rentz hit a power pole on Bates Avenue in Rentz Thursday night.