According to Georgia State Patrol:
Eric Engle, 25, of Kensington died after being ejected from his vehicle after it slid off the roadway on Ga. 341 north of Camp Road about 12:40 p.m., according to trooper first class Jason Ballard with the patrol’s LaFayette post.
The 2009 Chevy Cobalt was traveling north and had rounded a curve when the vehicle went into a ditch.
After traveling 67 feet in the ditch, the vehicle hit a driveway culvert and went spinning airborne for about 50 feet before landing in the ditch, where Engle was ejected. The vehicle continued to roll another 120 feet before coming to rest more than 30 feet from the road.
Ballard determined that speed was the primary factor. Engle was not wearing a safety belt.
Nearly a dozen first-responders search of the wooded area across the road for a teen passenger after having been told two people were in the vehicle.
Within 20 minutes of the accident, the teen was brought to the scene and verified that he was that passenger and had been dropped off prior to wreck.
The teen said he had been dropped off by Engle a few blocks from the accident scene. The teen stated that Engle was in a hurry because he was late for work.
According to neighbors, Engle moved from Sevierville, Tenn., and had only lived in the area with his mother for about three months, helping her recover from open heart surgery.
More than a dozen neighbors either witnessed the accident or responded to help.
Susan Mann lives with her mother Irene Barrett at 5347 Ga. 341. Both saw the accident occur while sitting in their carport. The vehicle landed in their yard.
“This happens quite frequently around here,” said Mann. “We need a guard rail up (along) here.”
Mann recalls that a doctor was killed seven month ago in another accident in the same area. At age 57, she has lived in the area since childhood and has witnessed the aftermath countless times at the location.
Aaron Vincent lives five homes away from the accident at 122 Camp Road and pulled up minutes after the accident. He has encountered many serious wrecks on the road, seemingly every other week lately, with excessive speed usually being a factor.
“It’s awful. I think there is a lack of patrol on the road,” Vincent said.
Brittany Fowler lives next to the residence where the accident occurred. The driver actually began to loose control near her driveway, 237 feet away from where it came to rest. She estimates having seen a dozen accidents in the past few years.
“Until somebody does something and makes this a stop sign, it is going to continue to happen,” Fowler said.
Ballard said he had worked “quite a few” accidents along the stretch of road.
Georgia Department of Transportation is aware of issues with the ditches along state roads.
A news release on Tuesday details that road work will focus on “deteriorating edge pavement” repairs along Ga. 341 in Walker County. The work began Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. and will continue through Friday.
An official with GDOT who happened to be in the area informally responded to the scene before trooper Ballard had finished his preliminary investigation.
The residents told GDOT representative Ricky Clayton about the persistent problem of speed-related accidents in the area.