Local man identified in Tuesday’s north Forsyth fatality
Man critically injured in Sept. wreck succumbs to injuries
First responders stand in front of two trucks that were involved in a bad wreck in mid-September. The driver of the right vehicle recently died from his injuries. - photo by Jim Dean

A man from Cumming who died Tuesday morning in a single-vehicle wreck on Wright Bridge Road in north Forsyth has been identified.

John Edward Parker, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene of the wreck, which occurred around 9:03 a.m. Nov. 7 on Wright Bridge Road just north of Ascot Drive, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

“The investigation at this point has determined that a white 2009 GMC Savana van, operated by John Edward Parker, was traveling south on Wright Bridge Road and crossed over the solid double yellow center lines and into the northbound lane, left the roadway and struck a large tree head-on,” he said. “Parker was the only occupant in the GMC [and] the cause of the crash remains under investigation by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Specialist Unit (TSU).”

Parker’s death is the 12th fatality in the county so far this year, two of which occurred in less than two weeks.

On Monday, Nov. 6, 59-year-old Thomas Wirkner, of Marietta, succumbed to his injuries from agarbage truck and dump truck crash that occurred at the entrance of Fowler Park in mid-September.

Two Cumming men, 38-year-old Rodrick Thompson and his 21-year-old nephew, Ta’shaun Thompson, died at the scene of that crash two months ago.

At the time, Wirkner was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta after emergency crews pulled him from the truck.

According to Deputy Andrew Ives with the TSU, Thompson was driving a white 1999 Mack truck east on Castleberry Road approaching Atlanta Highway when a black 2005 Mack Dump truck heading north on Atlanta Highway was approaching the intersection with Castleberry Road and Carolene Way.

The garbage truck attempted to turn right onto the southbound side of Atlanta Highway, but Thompson was unable to negotiate the turn and the truck tipped over onto its left side, sliding into the northbound roadway.

Wirkner attempted to veer to the right to avoid hitting the garbage truck, but the two vehicles collided head-on, coming to a rest in the northbound right turn lane and shoulder of Atlanta Highway.

The sheriff’s office closed the intersection for about four and a half hours Sept. 18, reopening the area around 6:30 p.m.

TSU responds to serious and fatal wrecks and is leading the investigation into the crash with assistance from the Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division.

TSU is also currently investigating the Nov. 7 crash.