Originally created 11/29/97

Two killed on Richmond County roads

Two of the four people killed so far on Georgia highways so far this Thanksgiving weekend have died in Richmond County.

Jeffery Berry, 22, of Belair Court, Belvedere, died Friday morning after his vehicle plunged from Interstate 20 into the Augusta Canal.

Mr. Berry was traveling east about 2:22 a.m. when his Jeep Cherokee swerved and plunged into the canal, said Deputy Mike Logue of the Augusta Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

"It jumped the guard-rail, flipped onto it's roof, hit the water and sunk," Deputy Logue said.

It took authorities about five hours -- with help from the Augusta-Richmond County Dive Team -- to locate and retrieve the submerged vehicle.

The cause of accident is still unknown, but toxicology tests will be preformed, Deputy Logue said.

Mr. Berry was the second person to die on Augusta highways during the holiday weekend.

Wanda Maddox, 16, of 2214 Nellie Drive, died Wednesday after being struck while running across Peach Orchard Road near Boykin Road about 6 p.m., police said.

The 15-year-old driver panicked and failed to stop, not reporting the accident until reaching home, police said. The juvenile was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and hit and run.

There was an adult in the car with the boy who tried to persuade him to stop but he would not, police said.

Police said the incident was an accident, but because the boy left the scene and someone was killed, he is automatically charged.

The boy was driving with a learner's permit, and he did not exceed the speed limit.

The two Augusta fatalities account for half such accidents statewide, according to the Georgia State Patrol, which counts holiday weekend deaths from 6 p.m. Wednesday through midnight Sunday.

In addition to four Georgia fatalities, at least two people have died on South Carolina roads this holiday weekend, according to the South Carolina State Highway Patrol.

John Edwards, 74, of Greenwood, S.C., died at 10:44 a.m. Thursday when his car struck a tree on U.S. Highway 25 three miles south of Greenwood.

Donald B. Tapley, 37, of Goose Creek was killed at 3:51 a.m. Thursday when is car overturned in a two-vehicle collision on Interstate 26 outside Charleston.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt, the Highway Patrol said.

Two other Augusta residents died in wrecks earlier this week.

Danisha Rose King, 23, was pronounced dead at University Hospital Monday, after her Plymouth Sundance crashed into the rear of an Augusta Richmond Transit Bus, said Deputy Logue. Ms. King, of 2159 Hillsinger Road, was traveling east on Lumpkin Road near Arcadia Drive at 11:58 a.m. when she collided with the bus.

Another 23-year-old woman died as the result of a Tuesday afternoon accident on Deans Bridge Road.

Crystal Roundtree Shubert, of 1308 Windsong Circle, was a passenger in a vehicle driven by her husband, Sean L. Shubert, when the two became involved in an argument, said Deputy Logue.

Traveling south on Deans Bridge Road, the Shubert's vehicle swerved across two lanes after Mrs. Shubert grabbed the wheel, he said.

Their car crashed into a telephone pole, killing Mrs. Shubert, who was pronounced dead at 4:10 p.m. at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. "They had just been married that weekend," Deputy Logue said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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