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Sheriff hurt in motorcycle wreck
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Forsyth County News

Forsyth County's sheriff remains hospitalized following a weekend motorcycle wreck that also injured a 37-year-old Forsyth County woman.

The Georgia State Patrol handled the wreck.

A report was not available Wednesday, though a state patrol spokeswoman said the incident occurred about 7 p.m. Sunday on Hwy. 9 in Lumpkin County. No other vehicles were involved.

The spokeswoman said Ted Paxton, 56, of Castleberry Road and Paula Olsen of Lakeside Court were traveling south on his 2005 Harley Davidson when Paxton lost control, ran off the west side of the road and landed in a ditch.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Paxton said he broke about seven ribs, a collarbone and shoulder blade. The sheriff, who also suffered a bruised lung, did not know if he will need surgery.

“They said it would probably be about two weeks before I’m moving around very well,” said Paxton from his room at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, where he is being treated.

Paxton said they were traveling Sunday night between Cleveland and Dahlonega.

“I was going about 35 or 40, but there was one curve and I just got a little too close to the edge and when I did I dropped down on the shoulder and that was it,” he said. “Unfortunately, a lot of those roads up there, there really is no shoulder.”

Paxton said he was riding his personal motorcycle. Olsen, whom he identified as a friend, received minor injuries.

"I have ridden motorcycles all my life," he said. "And of course everybody always says it's not a matter of if you're going to go down on one, it's when."

The sheriff said he was grateful the wreck wasn't worse.

"I'll just urge everybody, as evidenced by me, just be careful," he said. "It can happen to anybody."

Paxton is in his third term as sheriff, having been re-elected to a four-year term last year.