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Authorities seek driver in wreck
Man ran off after crash downtown
traffic mayhem 2 jd
Authorities are searching for the driver of this vehicle who hit a sign in front of the county administration building and ran away Friday night. - photo by Jim Dean
Authorities are searching for a hit-and-run suspect in connection with a wreck and property damage that occurred late last week in downtown Cumming.

Cumming Police Officer John Coffman said the suspect ran off after the incident, which occurred about midnight Friday at Main Street and Dahlonega Highway.

“He hit the sign in front of the county administration building and hit a vehicle right there as well,” Coffman said. “Then he fled the scene and went north on Dahlonega Highway until he ran off the road near Elm Street.”

He said the driver apparently was traveling west on Main Street in a 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse. The car was reported stolen about the time of the accident, Coffman said.

The Eclipse struck a 2007 GMC Acadia that was stopped at the traffic light at Dahlonega and Main. No one was hurt.

Coffman said it is not clear if the suspect struck the other vehicle first and then careened into the sign or vice versa.

A couple hours later in an unrelated incident, a Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy crashed into the cemetery at Concord Baptist Church on Concord Road, north of Cumming.

According to a sheriff’s report, Deputy Joseph Arnold had just finished checking the church’s lower parking lot.

Leaving the lot, he accelerated to turn onto Bagby Lane when his foot slipped off the gas pedal and caught on something.

“When he looked down to see what his foot was caught on, his patrol car went off into the grass,” the report said.

Arnold freed his foot, but by that time the vehicle had crossed the road.

According to the report, the brakes then locked, causing the patrol car to go straight instead of turning back toward Concord.

It drove over two graves before it stopped. The deputy did not report any injuries.

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said the wreck likely would be evaluated by an accident review board, which would determine if any corrective action were necessary.

Attempts to reach the church for comment were not successful.