This year, the Georgia State Patrol reported a total of 15 fatalities, six of them at GSP posts and the rest from other agencies. Included in this total is one reported by Gwinnett County. A spokesman from the Gwinnett Police Department said GPD did not have any traffic fatalities in its jurisdiction, but did work a suicide just before 11 p.m. last night.
According to the police report, the incident happened off an overpass on I-85 NB in Norcross. An officer approached Lamonte Shaw, 38, who was sitting on the overpass, but he leapt off the bridge before he could be stopped. Medics were called, but Shaw did not survive the fall. Gwinnett County Police Accident Investigation Unit investigated the incident. Shaw reportedly had left a suicide note for his family and his wallet and phone on the bridge so he could be identified.
The total Memorial Day weekend traffic fatalities reported by GSP, at 15, compare to 19 reported statewide during the same travel period last year. GSP posts last year reported a total of 13 fatalities.
Every year GSP keeps count of traffic accident and the injury and fatality rate on Georgia roads for the 78-hour holiday period beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and ending at midnight Memorial Day.
Included in the figures supplied by GSP was the suicide on I-85 reported in Gwinnett County and one in Oconee County. t.
The following fatalities were reported by GSP at the end of the Memorial Day weekend travel period.
Troop A (1) GSP LaFayette
Troop B (2) GSP Toccoa, GSP Athens
Troop C (4) Cobb Co. Police (3) Gwinnett Co. Police (1)
Troop D (2) Columbus Police (2)
Troop E (1) Putnam Co. Sheriff’s Office
Troop F (2) GSP Dublin, GSP Helena
Troop H (3) GSP Douglas; (1) Houston Co. Sheriff’s Office (2)
The GSP reported a total of 332 crashes with 196 injuries and the 15 fatalities. Last year during the Memorial Day travel weekend, GSP investigated 312 traffic crashes that resulted in 236 injuries and 13 traffic deaths.
In the fatal crashes last year, three victims were motorcycle operators and one person killed was operating an all-terrain vehicle. Alcohol was a contributing factor in six of the 13 fatalities and eight of the nine people killed in either a passenger car or pickup truck were not wearing seat belts. Operation Click It or Ticket was instituted prior to this year's heavy travel period and remains in force until June 3.