Update: GSP Patrol spokesman confirms Alex Fowlin, who is 10 and not 11, did not die in the wreck as reported and is in fact alive and at Egleston.
Despite wet roads on the last day of the Labor Day Weekend, the Georgia Department of Public Safety reported a significant drop in traffic fatalities on Georgia Roads over the 78-hour travel weekend. For reporting purposes, the Labor Day travel weekend is from 6 p.m. Friday to midnight Monday.
According to the Georgia Department of Public Safety website, there were seven fatalities reported statewide during this period. Georgia State Patrol reported 435 crashes with 225 injuries. Last year the GSP reported 360 crashes with 211 injuries and 13 fatalities. Statewide in 2010, with all agencies reporting, there were 14 fatalities, 2,580 crashes and 1,042 injuries reported.
Fatalities reported in 2011 included one by authorities in Cherokee County, one from the Georgia State Patrol Post in Athens, one from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, one from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, one from the GSP Post in Thomasville and two from the GSP Post in Walton County.
According to Capt. Paul Cosper from the Walton County GSP Post, the two fatalities reported by that post were from a Saturday night crash on Gees Mill Road in Rockdale County that resulted in the death of 75-year-old Richard Fowlin of Conyers, and Alex Fowlin, 11.
“It was a crash after someone ran from a checkpoint,” Cosper said, adding it was handled by the Rockdale County Sheriff’s office, but the accident was worked by the GSP because of the fatalities. The Walton County GSP post covers Walton, Rockdale and Newton counties.
Cosper said the driver who allegedly ran from the checkpoint in a 2003 Jaguar, Derick Sylvester, 23, was transported to a hospital in Atlanta with injuries. There are charges pending against Sylvester following the completion of a Specialist Crime Response Team (S.C.R.T.) investigation.
“He tried to negotiate a curve on Gees Mill Road while deputies were trying to catch up with him and he ran off the road, striking an embankment,” Cosper said, adding he didn't know the relationship between the two people killed in the wreck.