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Officials: Holiday weekend went well
Summer season off to safe start
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Forsyth County News

Public safety officials reported a mostly quiet Memorial Day weekend across Forsyth County.

According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, there was a 31 percent drop in traffic crashes over the three-day weekend when compared to 2012, down from 32 to 22.

Just one accident involved injuries, compared to six last year, according to a report from Lt. Bill Franco.

“Proactive traffic enforcement was implemented throughout the county to combat crashes and injuries from crashes by placing an emphasis on speed enforcement, reduction of aggressive driving, seat belt law compliance and child seat restraint compliance,” Franco reported.

Deputies conducted five safety checkpoints in addition to the increased patrols for assistance and visibility, he wrote.

A log at the Forsyth County jail showed 10 people booked over the weekend on charges of driving under the influence and one for boating under the influence.

On Lanier, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement division reported 10 people had been cited for BUI and there were two boating incidents with two injuries.

DNR had no further information on a midnight Friday hit-and-run boating incident on the Hall County side of Lanier.

An 18-year-old issued a statement of involvement at the Hall County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.

Further information on the case will take “likely several days as they are still processing/investigating,” said DNR spokeswoman Melissa Cummings.

Cummings said conclusions can’t necessarily be drawn from the numbers about the newly lowered legal limit from 0.10 to 0.08, but said she hopes the widespread publicity may have positively influenced people’s decision-making when it came to drinking and boating.

“While it might be hard to show the numbers to say whether or not there was an impact, I do think that the great coverage the new law has received likely reached more people, and hopefully, that had an effect on people before they chose to drink and drive a boat,” Cummings said.

The holiday period began Saturday and ended at midnight Monday.

Statewide, seven traffic fatalities were reported, with none in Forsyth County, according to the Georgia Department of Public Safety.

The Georgia State Patrol investigated 490 crashes, with 258 reports of injuries between Friday at 6 p.m. and midnight on Memorial Day.

In Forsyth, the state patrol handled three wrecks, including one Monday involving an 18-wheel Budweiser truck that drove off Browns Bridge Road to the edge of Lake Lanier.

Robin Stone, a spokeswoman for the state patrol, said the driver, 24-year-old Jesse Patterson of Lula, was heading east on Hwy. 369 near Floyd Lane when he went off the right shoulder.

“The vehicle struck several trees and continued to its final resting position in Lake Lanier,” Stone said. “The driver stated that a wasp had flown into the window and landed on his hand.”

Patterson reportedly left the road after the wasp flew on his leg and he became nervous. Stone did not know how much, if any, beer the truck was hauling.

Drugs or alcohol were not factors in the wreck, she said.

Patterson and his passenger, 24-year-old Matthew Woodman of Gainesville, were taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with what were described as minor injuries.

Patterson was cited for failure to maintain lane.