In the wake of a busy two-day span of wrecks, authorities are urging drivers to use caution as they travel along Ga. 400 and other area traffic arteries this fall.
“During this time of year, traffic is very heavy on Ga. 400,” said Karleen Chalker, a spokeswoman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “People are going to the mountains.
“Particularly on the weekends during the autumn season, when you have a lot of leaf-watchers … it just brings more traffic. People are going up to pumpkin farms and they’re going up to the mountains, and people get in a hurry too.
“Unfortunately, this is not out of the ordinary.”
Ga. 400 was a dangerous place to be Sunday, when several wrecks occurred.
That trend carried over into the Monday morning commute, when a five-vehicle, chain-reaction crash snarled traffic near Exit 14.
And that was just the beginning. The sheriff’s office worked five other works Monday on Ga. 400, and a sixth that occurred on an off-ramp of the highway.
The pileup happened about 7 a.m.
“All vehicles were traveling south on Ga. 400 and vehicles No. 2, 3, 4 and 5 stopped due to heavy traffic, but vehicle No. 1 failed to stop and struck No. 2 in the rear bumper, causing a chain reaction,” Chalker said.
As a result of the wreck, a Gainesville woman was cited for following too closely, Chalker said.
According to Chalker, the woman was driving the first vehicle, a 2009 Ford Edge, and failed to stop, striking a 2005 Volvo, which hit a 2009 Chrysler Sebring.
The Sebring then went into a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer, which struck a 2012 Nissan Maxima. None of the drivers were injured.
Sunday’s incidents began about 2:10 a.m., with a 24-year-old Forsyth County man who was traveling south on Ga. 400 in a 2006 Mazda.
“He said a deer ran across the road in front of him and he swerved to the left to avoid the deer,” Chalker said.
The vehicle ran into cable barriers in the median near Exit 13 and was knocked back across both lanes of the corridor and ended up on the right shoulder.
Neither he nor his passenger was injured, Chalker said, and no citations were issued.
Also not cited was a 26-year-old Snellville man who veered into the median from Ga. 400 south near McFarland Parkway about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Chalker said the 2001 Subaru Legacy struck the cable divider and “uprooted between eight and 10 posts before making contact with a guardrail. And then it damaged approximately 60 feet of the guardrail.”
The man was not injured.
A few hours later, authorities handled two separate crashes on Ga. 400 north the near Hwy. 306 underpass.
The first incident occurred about 1:30 p.m. and involved a 1993 Cadillac Allante driven by an 82-year-old man from Atlanta.
“He was in the right-hand lane and went into the left-hand lane to keep from rear-ending someone, and when he did he lost control of his vehicle in the process of changing lanes,” Chalker said.
The Cadillac struck the guardrail in the median and the momentum carried the vehicle north until it finally stopped under the overpass.
Chalker said he was taken to the Northeast Georgia Medical Center with what were described as visible injuries.
The second accident happened minutes later. Chalker said it’s likely the 16-year-old driver was focused on the first wreck when she attempted to swerve the 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe she was driving to avoid a collision.
She was in the left lane and went into the right lane, overturning onto the grass shoulder.
The driver, who was wearing a seatbelt and uninjured, was not cited in the incident.