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Two dead after separate wrecks
An 80-year-old man died of injuries suffered in a wreck Monday afternoon at Old Atlanta Road and Mathis Airport Parkway. - photo by Jim Dean

Authorities are investigating separate wrecks that claimed the lives of two men less than a day apart.

A 45-year-old Canton man was killed Tuesday morning when a van and sport utility vehicle collided head on at Bethelview and Kelly Mill roads, said Forsyth County Sheriff's Investigator Ron Tomblin.

He said the wreck occurred about 18 hours after an 80-year-old Forsyth County man died as the result of a two-vehicle wreck at Old Atlanta Road and Mathis Airport Parkway.

The deaths came as authorities were preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is annually one of the busiest -- and deadliest -- travel periods.

The collision at Bethelview and Kelly Mill in west Forsyth occurred about 7 a.m. Tuesday as a 1998 Ford van was traveling north on Bethelview.

"The light turned yellow and the Ford van began to turn across the intersection into the path of the [Chevrolet] Blazer and they struck in the middle of the intersection," Tomblin said.

The driver of the Blazer, Christopher Henderson, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man driving the van, 25-year-old Gerardo Perez Abrego of Loganville, was arrested and charged with failure to yield while turning left and vehicular homicide second degree, Tomblin said.

He said the van was carrying seven passengers, two of whom were taken to North Fulton Hospital with minor injuries.

No charges have been filed in connection with the earlier collision, which Tomblin said occurred about 12:40 p.m. Monday.

According to Tomblin, a 2004 Ford F-150 truck struck a 2005 Honda Accord at Old Atlanta Road and Mathis Airport Parkway in south Forsyth.

The eastbound Honda was attempting to turn left onto Old Atlanta from Mathis.

Tomblin said 80-year-old John Franklin Bergner died of injuries at North Fulton Hospital, where he was taken after emergency personnel removed him from the Honda.

The vehicle was driven by his wife, Erla Bergner, 79.

Tomblin said she and the 19-year-old driver of the pickup, Kevin Latta of Forsyth County, were both treated for minor injuries and released from Northside Hospital-Forsyth.

With busy holiday travel just around the corner, Tomblin reminded drivers to be patient.

"Slow down and wait your turn," he said.