Deadly 48 hours on north Fayette roads – 3 dead, 4 injured

Firefighters work to remove a door of the Toyota Camry to reach a victim who was trapped inside, while paramedics, at left, attend to victims of the crash including (at left) the one child in a car seat, identified as Caleah Thomas, age 3, who is in very critical condition. Photo/John Munford.

Fayette County just experienced more traffic fatalities in one 48-hour period than at any time in recent memory.

In the period from Friday morning to Sunday morning, three people lost their lives and four were injured in three separate crashes, all in north Fayette.

The first fatality happened Friday morning.

A Riverdale woman died in a traffic accident May 30 on Ga. Highway 279 near Helmer Road.

Fayette County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Josh Shelton said 31-year-old Danielle Joyner of Riverdale was killed in a three-car collision after the car she was driving crossed the centerline and struck two other vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

EMS staff transported one of the other drivers to Atlanta Medical Center with non-lethal injuries. The second driver was not injured. Each vehicle was only occupied by its driver, said Shelton.

Shelton said drugs and alcohol are not suspected of playing a role in the crash.

The next was a horrific crash at the entrance to the busy Fayette Pavilion shopping center north of Fayetteville.

That mid-morning accident May 30 on Ga. Highway 314 and Pavilion Parkway in Fayetteville involving two vehicles claimed the life of one child and left three children injured along with the driver of one of the vehicles. The accident is still under investigation though the initial report stated that the vehicle carrying the children failed to yield.

Fayetteville Police spokesman Mike Whitlow said the accident occurred at the intersection of Hwy. 314 and Pavilion Parkway.

The accident involved a Toyota Camry traveling northbound on Hwy. 314 and a pick-up truck traveling southbound on Hwy. 314.

Below, rescuers work on the adult driver pulled from the smashed car. Photo/John Munford.

The driver of the Camry carrying the four children was Christopher W. Thomas, Jr., 28, of College Park. The father of three of the children in the car, Thomas’ condition is unknown though Whitlow said at last check he was in stable condition.

Whitlow said 6-year-old Jeremy Stone, Jr., of Atlanta, died as a result of the accident. It is not known if the child was related to Thomas.

Also injured was Caleah Thomas, age 3, who is in very critical condition; 5-year-old Cameron Thomas listed in serious condition; and 8-year-old Christian Thomas who is listed in serious condition.

Whitlow said all four children were in the back seat of the Camry. Caleah Thomas was positioned in a car seat while Cameron and Christian Thomas were wearing seatbelts. Jeremy Stone was not wearing a seatbelt, Whitlow said.

The pick-up truck was driven by 22-year-old Fayetteville resident Calvin Seth Norman.

Whitlow said Norman, the only occupant of that vehicle, was not injured but was shaken and distraught.

Norman was later charged with DUI-drugs at the Fayette County Jail.

Below, one victim remains to be extricated. Photo/John Munford.



Though the accident is still under investigation by Fayetteville investigators and the Ga. State Patrol, Whitlow said the accident report states that Thomas failed to yield when making a left turn.

The third fatality occurred less than 24 hours later.

A Fayetteville man died June 1 after his vehicle left the roadway on Mann Road and turned over multiple times.

Joseph Dobson, 25, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Sheriff Barry Babb.

Babb said deputies at 7:40 a.m. responded to a single vehicle traffic accident at 143 Mann Road, a rural dirt road in the northwest section of Fayette County near the Fulton County line.

Upon arriving at the scene, deputies and medics located an overturned Ford Expedition that was determined to have left the roadway and violently rolled multiple times, Babb said.

The male driver was identified as Dobson. He had been entrapped in the overturned vehicle, said Babb.

“Mr. Dobson was pronounced dead on the scene and it was determined that he died at the time of the accident,” Babb said.

Babb said the other occupant of the vehicle was a female passenger, Alejandrina Butler, 24, of Fairburn. Having been ejected from the vehicle, Butler was transported to Atlanta Medical Center where she is listed in critical condition.

Babb said it is believed the accident occurred at approximately 4 a.m. The accident was not discovered until the time of call by the property owner.

The incident is still under investigation, Babb said, adding that alcohol is believed to be the significant factor in the accident.

— Additional reporting by John Munford.

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