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Man ID'd in fatal wreck
39-year-old was driving Altima
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Forsyth County News

A 39-year-old Forsyth County man was killed and another man injured in a two-vehicle wreck Wednesday afternoon on Atlanta Highway (Hwy. 9) in south Forsyth.

Authorities identified the deceased Thursday as Sean Thomas Strickland of McIntosh Drive.

Strickland was driving a Nissan Altima that collided head on with a large box truck about 2:15 p.m. just north of Castleberry Road.

Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers said the Altima was traveling north when it apparently crossed the center of Hwy. 9 and struck the oncoming truck.

The driver of the truck, 35-year-old Chavez Gonzalez of Duluth, was treated at North Fulton Regional Hospital and released later that afternoon, said Forsyth County Sheriff’s traffic investigator Ron Tomblin.

Strickland died on impact, Shivers said.

Funeral arrangements for Strickland were incomplete Thursday afternoon, and will be announced by McDonald & Son Funeral Home.

The fatality was the second of the year, and first this month, on Forsyth County roads.

A 72-year-old woman was killed May 4 in a head-on collision on Keith Bridge Road in northeastern Forsyth County.

An 18-year-old driver faces one count each of second-degree vehicular homicide and failure to maintain lane in connection with the wreck.

No charges have been filed in Wednesday's collision. Tomblin said alcohol and speed were not factors in the crash.

“At this point we have no clue what caused [Strickland] to veer over into the other lane of traffic,” he said. “None of the witnesses could confirm he was on the cell phone or doing anything like that.”

Tomblin said Chavez was wearing a seat belt, but wasn't sure about Strickland, who was partially thrown from the vehicle.

Gonzalez, driving a Bam Tree Removal truck, “essentially drove up over the front of the sedan,” Shivers said.

The impact tore off the bulk of the truck’s underside, including the fuel tank. The Altima was demolished, said Tomlin.

Crews with the state Department of Transportation handled the cleanup. Tow trucks removed the Altima from a ditch on the side of the road.

Hwy. 9 was closed in both directions for about two hours, with northbound traffic being routed onto Castleberry and southbound vehicles to Majors Road and then Castleberry.