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Two injured when van runs off road
Weather may be to blame for wreck
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Forsyth County News

A Forsyth County woman and one of her two passengers remain hospitalized following a single-vehicle wreck over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Capt. Frank Huggins of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said 19-year-old Brittany Stephenson of Continental Drive and Jacob Adam Shipman, 26, of Dawsonville were taken Saturday morning to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

"She is in the most serious condition of the two," Huggins said. "The last report was that they were both in critical condition."

Huggins said it is not clear why Stephenson's 1999 Plymouth Voyager van veered off Pilgrim Mill Road, though the weather may have been a factor.

It was raining, he said, when the eastbound van left Pilgrim Mill, traveled about 275 feet and struck a utility pole.

Huggins said Stephenson suffered head injuries. Shipman, who was riding in the back seat the van, was not wearing a seat belt.

Another passenger, John George Burnett, 24, was treated for injuries at the scene.

It appears wet weather will return this week.

According to the National Weather Service in Peachtree City, a 30 percent chance of rain has been predicted for tonight and a 50 percent chance for Thursday.

Huggins said the wreck was the most severe of eight involving injuries that occurred between 6 p.m. Wednesday and midnight Sunday.

He said sheriff's deputies handled a total of 41 wrecks over the 102-hour holiday period.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said it was "a busy four days" as the department responded to several wrecks, but it was also the first Thanksgiving in several years with no major fire-related incidents.

Cumming Police Chief Mike Eason said things went relatively smoothly in his jurisdiction over the holiday period.

"We didn't have much of a problem at all," he said. "We had some minor accidents and minor injuries too so we actually came through it real well. We appreciate everybody being safe."

Eason said there were also no reports of thefts in the city's shopping areas.