Originally created 04/18/99

Collision at intersection kills two in Burke County



Two men were killed and three others hospitalized in a two-car collision in Burke County early Saturday when one of the drivers failed to yield the right of way, authorities said.

Eric Dow Kelly, 21, from Waynesboro, and an unidentified Savannah man in a second car were killed in the accident about 7:50 a.m. at the intersection of Georgia highways 23 and 80.

Mr. Kelly failed to yield to oncoming traffic at the intersection, state Highway Patrol Trooper Lisa Bowen said. Mr. Kelly was employed at A&W Oil Co. in Waynesboro.

Mr. Kelly's car was hit on the driver's side by a car driven by Frederick Leon Burke, 36, of Savannah. Mr. Burke was traveling northbound toward Augusta.

A passenger in Mr. Burke's car was killed, but police have not released his name pending notification of his family.

Both he and Mr. Kelly were declared dead at the scene by the Burke County coroner.

Mr. Burke and two other passengers in his car -- Victor Simmons, 21, of Rincon, and Samuel Green, 41, of Savannah -- were taken to the Medical College of Georgia Hospital for surgery, police said.

Mr. Simmons and Mr. Green are both listed in critical condition, while Mr. Burke is in serious condition, hospital officials said Saturday.

Police said they cannot tell whether Mr. Kelly stopped at a stop sign at the intersection, but evidence did show he didn't yield to oncoming traffic.

Jessica Rinck can be reached at (706) 823-3225 or jessica.rinck@augustachronicle.com.